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Suffolk County schools to close for 2 weeks amid COVID-19 outbreak: official

Health officials investigating coronavirus
Posted at 1:50 PM, Mar 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-16 13:46:44-04

SUFFOLK COUNTY, Long Island — Suffolk County schools will close for two weeks beginning Monday as officials struggle to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, executive Steve Bellone announced Sunday.

"There is evidence that the virus is already present in many communities we serve, and our efforts now must be aimed at preventing its spread. As part of our larger social distancing efforts, we believe that closing schools is the right thing to do at this time," Bellone said in a statement.

The decision was made at the recommendation of the county health commissioner and superintendent's association, according to Bellone.

Nassau County is also shutting down schools for two weeks beginning Monday.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has not closed public schools in New York City, despite mounting calls to do so.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Sunday that closing schools would be good for social distancing but it's "not that simple" since many workers in essential fields like law enforcement and health care rely on the school system for child care and meals.

List of schools closing in NY, NJ amid spread of COVID-19