Ohio schools may be closed for the remainder of the year in response to the coronavirus outbreak, according to Governor Mike DeWine (R).
DeWine was asked on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday if schools could stay closed for the rest of the year to help mitigate the spread of the virus.
“Absolutely,” DeWine responded. “Going by what medical experts are telling us, [the outbreak] may not peak until the latter part of April or May. We’ve informed superintendents while we’ve closed schools for three weeks, odds are we will go on a lot longer.”
DeWine added that school closures aren’t the only measures states should be taking to combat the spread of COVID-19.
“I have learned about talking to the experts, it’s not just one thing, [we] have to do a lot of different things and do them early,” DeWine said. “And that’s what we’re trying to do in Ohio.”
As schools across the country close over the virus, some experts worry the mass closures will negatively impact children’s learning and put a massive strain on parents.
For kids, a school closure means lost learning time, which can have long-term effects. In some cases, it can also mean going hungry, since many kids across America — including about 70 percent of students in New York City — rely on free or reduced-price lunch programs at their schools.
For parents, a school closure can mean taking time off work to care for kids — except that many jobs don’t offer paid time off. That means parents can lose pay for the days they don’t work, or even lose their jobs entirely. And while working from home is a possibility for some parents, many jobs can’t be done remotely — cleaning hospitals and other facilities, for example, or putting out fires — and it’s not always possible to care for a child while working at the same time.
Like so much about the coronavirus outbreak, school closures are highlighting larger social problems as well as creating immediate problems for many of the most vulnerable people in society. In this case, it’s the need for improvements to the child care system in America so that parents aren’t left without options when schools close. And, perhaps most of all, it’s the need for paid leave — not just for sick people, but for those caring for others, whether they’re children, older people, or anyone in need of extra support.
Nick Begich guest hosts The Alex Jones Show to bring the latest updates on the supply chain breakdown and the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
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