Illinois Schools' Closure Extended Through April 7

Illinois' public and private schools were initially scheduled to reopen on March 30

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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday extended the statewide schools' closure until April 7 as an additional 163 coronavirus cases were reported in Illinois.

A statewide shelter-in-place order, which was also announced Friday, is expected to begin at 5 p.m. Saturday and last through April 7.

In effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Gov. Pritzker previously announced all of the state's public and private schools would be shutdown from Tuesday, March 17 through March 29th.

Chicago Public Schools will remain closed two weeks longer than required by the governor. CPS schools won't reopen until April 21, Chicago Mayor Lori Lighfoot announced Thursday.

School districts statewide will continue to provide meals to students in need during the extended closure, state officials said.

"I wish I could stand up here and tell you when your schools will safely reopen, but that is not an answer that I have at this time," Gov. Pritzker said at a news conference.

The number of coronavirus cases climbed to 585 Friday in Illinois as health officials also announced an additional death. Patients ranging in age from 3 to 99 years old have been reported in 25 counties, according to state health officials.

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