SEATTLE, Wash. – Seattle Public Schools (SPS) will close for at least two weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The district made the announcement on Twitter on Wednesday, saying that the closure will take effect on Thursday.
“This necessary action is an effective way to disrupt widespread infection,” wrote the district.
Starting Thursday, SPS says all school building activities including school day instruction, childcare, health services, etc. are canceled until further notice. Additionally, the district says it will have an emergency food plan which will be put in place on Monday.
The district’s closure affects about 53,000 students and came after Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee announced a ban on all events and gatherings of more than 250 people in Seattle’s metro area.
The Seattle district's closure came after a suburban district north of Seattle with 22,000 students closed schools and started using online lessons.
As of Wednesday, at least 24 people in the state have died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. The Department of Health says 22 of those deaths were reported in King County, where Seattle is located.
This story is breaking and will be updated as more information becomes available.