Bergen County to close 75 school districts, transition to remote learning amid COVID-19 outbreak

Posted at 7:29 PM, Mar 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-12 19:41:01-04

BERGEN COUNTY, NJ — Bergen County will close schools in all 75 districts and transition to remote classes amid the COVID-19 outbreak, officials announced Thursday night.

The county has more cases of coronavirus than any other in the state. Almost 170,000 children and 6,000 teachers will be impacted.

Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco said he made the decision after he consulted with executive leadership of the Bergen County Association of School Administrators and the County Health Officer. The change goes into effect Friday at 3 p.m.

"With the continuing spread of COVID-19 throughout Bergen County, it is imperative that we take action and do everything in our power to protect our 1 million residents," he said.

A state of emergency was declared in New Jersey on Monday. With closures come concerns about lunch for students. State data shows 37.2 percent of students in NJ are eligible for free or reduced payment lunch. Local districts have planned home instruction and those plans include access to nutrition programs, a state Education Department spokesman previously told PIX11.

“These efforts will take into account the specific needs of the community and other local factors,” the spokesman said. “For instance, some school districts are working with their food vendors to establish programs to serve students, and some communities are looking to establish a “grab n go” distribution system where families can easily pick up meals.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.