PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Governor Doug Ducey and Superintendent Kathy Hoffman have announced the closure of Arizona schools state-wide. Ducey said the decision was made to address staffing shortages and to prioritize the safety of children.

The closures apply to k-12 schools, including charter and private schools. They do not apply to child care centers, the Governor's office confirmed.

Schools will be closed from Monday, March 16, through Friday, March 27. The Governor and Superintendent plan to work with education and public health officials to reassess the need for school closures through the end of the month. 

While announcing the closures with Superintendent Kathy Hoffman, Gov. Doug Ducey said the decision was made to address staffing shortages and to prioritize the safety of children.

“Over the past few weeks and in coordination with public health officials, we have been in close communication with school administrators to provide guidance and be a resource as it relates to the recent outbreak of COVID-19,” said Governor Ducey. “As more schools announce closures and education administrators express staff shortages within their schools, now is the time to act. A statewide closure is the right thing to do. While this measure will not stop the spread of COVID-19, it will bring certainty and consistency in schools across Arizona.”

SPECIAL SECTION: Coronavirus coverage in Arizona

“The health and safety of all our students is our top priority, and we’ve worked hard to keep our school doors open — schools provide important services and many families rely on them for nutrition, access to health care and in order to do their own jobs,” said Superintendent Hoffman. “I am in close contact with school superintendents, teachers, and parents and will continue working closely in partnership with schools to ensure that our families needs are met.”

She discusses the concerns of Arizona schools at this time of coronavirus concerns.

The Governor asks that school administrators make every effort to provide continued education learning opportunities through online resources or materials that could be sent home. School administrators have also been asked to develop plans to continue breakfast and lunch services for students.

Nationally, a COVID-19 hotline is setup for any questions you have about the virus. Call 1-844-542-8201 to reach a health care professional.

Although safety must come first, the choice to close all schools in Arizona could probably put a wrench in people's everyday lives, especially parents. As a result, Arizona's Family has comprised a list of resources that can help parents who must go to work. Click here to see the complete list


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