Wisconsin governor orders all K-12 schools to close to prevent coronavirus spread

Schools in Wisconsin are set to close next week as the state undertakes efforts to prevent coronavirus spreading.

According to Governor Tony Evers, K-12 schools will close starting Wednesday, March 18. Evers says the gap will allow school leaders, parents, and students to prepare for the shutdown. Local leaders will be allowed to close districts earlier than March 18, if so decided.

"Closing our schools is not a decision I made lightly, but keeping our kids, our educators, our families, and our communities safe is a top priority as we continue to work to respond to and prevent further spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin," Evers wrote in a tweet.

The governor says schools will work to make sure students who need extra resources have access to food and care during the closure.

Officials say they we re-evaluate the situation in two weeks.

In Minnesota, state officials have allowed schools to remain in session based on recommendations from health leaders. Speaking Thursday, the Minnesota Department of Health said the virus presents less danger to people under the age of 19 and added closing schools would carry unintended consequences.