TAMPA, Fla. - Public schools across Florida will be closed for two weeks to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. The Florida Department of Education announced Friday evening that all schools would be shut down for the weeks of March 16-20 and March 23-27.
Many districts were already on previously scheduled spring break vacations during one of those weeks. For those schools, the break will be extended one week. Other districts that were not scheduled to close during those weeks must now close.
During that time, the state's directive also means schools are expected to:
- Cancel all extracurricular activities
- Provide eLearning to students, parents and staff
- Conduct thorough cleaning of all schools
Tampa Bay area school districts tell FOX 13 News they are working to make arrangements for students to pick up pre-packaged breakfasts and lunches at their schools. Some schools may also choose to deliver meals to pre-designated locations like bus stops.
The news comes a few hours after the state's chancellor of public schools, Jacob Oliva, ordered that any students who travel internationally or go on a cruise undergo a 14-day self-quarantine before they are allowed to return to class.
Statewide, the Florida Department of Health had reported 51 Florida-related COVID-19 cases, including two deaths, as of Friday afternoon.
If you feel sick
The Florida Department of Health has opened a COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-779-6121. Agents will answer questions Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Questions may also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Email responses will be sent during call center hours.
CORONAVIRUS IN FLORIDA: What you need to know
RELATED: CoronavirusNOW.com, FOX launches national hub for COVID-19 news and updates.
Map of all known COVID-19 cases
MOBILE APP USERS: Click here for map