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Kansas governor orders schools closed for the rest of the school year

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) announced Tuesday that all schools in the state would shutter for the remainder of the school year as officials attempt to gain control over the spread of the coronavirus.

Kelly made the announcement Tuesday afternoon at a press conference.

"I am ordering all K-12 to close and cease in-person instruction for the duration of the 2019-2020 semester," Kelly said at the press conference, according to Fox 4 in Kansas City.
 
"As Kansans, we have always done what is necessary to protect our families. This moment is no different," she added, according to local news affiliate KMBC 9 News.
 
Her decision follows others from local officials around the country, though many have canceled school for several weeks as they work to stop the virus from spreading.
 
Local officials were reportedly notified of Kelly's decision Tuesday, with instructions to begin planning educational opportunities for students for the remainder of the year.
 
"The reality of this pandemic is that it cannot be controlled statewide if school buildings return to normal operations," Kelly continued. 
 
Several new cases of the coronavirus were reportedly confirmed in the state on Tuesday, and the worldwide the outbreak has grown to more than 185,000 infected, resulting in thousands of deaths.

Kansas state officials had previously recommended that schools in the state close for one week, the governor said Sunday. Sixteen cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Kansas, with one death reported.

Updated at 6:05 p.m.