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Indian River County schools to close for two weeks over coronavirus concerns

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Posted at 9:40 AM, Mar 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-13 19:35:28-04

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla. — All Indian River County public schools will close for at least two weeks due to concerns over the coronavirus.

The school district said all schools, school activities, and athletics will be canceled from Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 27.

Indian River County schools are on Spring Break from March 23 to 27.

"We have taken a proactive approach from the very beginning," said Superintendent David Moore at a news conference on Friday morning.

Moore said the district surveyed families to determine what kind of technology and connectivity they have at home so students can take online classes.

"For families that do not have connectivity, we have 10,000 devices that we can distribute and send home so our students can continue to connect to the instruction," said Moore.

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FULL NEWS CONFERENCE: Indian River County schools prepare for coronavirus

Moore said the district was proactive and ordered bulk items like hand sanitizer, soap, and disinfectant to have on hand for schools.

"Being proactive, knowing that this was going to be items that were hard to get a hold of, we were proactive, ordered bulk items that we now have available in our warehouse and we can distribute to our schools and principals as they need those items," Moore said.

In addition, the superintendent said the school district has hospital-grade disinfectants and is regularly cleaning "high-touch" areas like desks, chairs, and doors.

Moore said the district has asked principals to cancel mass gatherings of more than 1,000 students, and the district has also canceled all out-of-state trips.

"Do we want to cancel trips? No. But do we want to act in the best interest of our students? Yes," Moore said.

The school district meets with the Florida Department of Health in Indian River County every day for an update on coronavirus, and at this point, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county.

Out of an abundance of caution, Indian River County schools canceled a Teacher Job Fair on Friday and a School Choice Expo on Saturday.

SPECIAL COVERAGE: Coronavirus

Parents in Indian River County can get the latest information about coronavirus plans in the school district by clicking here.