BREAKING: District cancels schools for March 16-20 in response to COVID-19

In+response+to+the+coronavirus+pandemic%2C+USD+250+is+canceling+school+March+16-20.+

Photo by: Joy Lee

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, USD 250 is canceling school March 16-20.

Story by Joseph Lee, co-editor-in-chief

On Sunday, March . 15, USD 250 administration closed all schools March 16-20 in response to COVID-19. 

District-affiliated sports, fine arts, clubs and public events are canceled until further notice and spring break, scheduled for March 23-27, will continue as planned. All other Crawford County schools are also closed. 

USD 250 assistant superintendent Brad Hanson released an email to parents, students and staff. The statement, along with a list of precautions against the virus itself, can also be found on the district’s website. 

“At the recommendation of the Commissioner of Education, Governor Laura Kelly and the Speaker of the House, as well as our own concern for the safety and well-being of our students and families, we have made the decision that all USD 250 schools will be closed,” the email said. 

According to the New York Times, the United States has 3,453 reported cases in the states, Washington, D.C. and other U.S. territories and 62 deaths. West Virginia is the remaining state with no reported cases. 

Kansas reports eight cases and one death, starting with the first confirmed case in Johnson County last week. 

The White House responded to the virus with President Trump declaring a national emergency on Friday, March. 13. National efforts to address the virus are on the rise as Ohio and Illinois have enacted statewide closures on bars and restaurants. Massachusetts and California have also restricted bars and clubs. 

As of Sunday afternoon, The Federal Reserve has cut interest rates by one percent, driving down the range from 0 to 0.25 percent. The previous range was from 1 to 1.25 percent.

The decision is aimed at maintaining economic stability by promoting investment and spending as the virus limits consumerism and business. The move comes with a $700 billion in treasury securities, finances to help curb government debt. 

To assess the threat on a community level, USD 250 says the District Crisis Response Team will cooperate with local health authorities to address the risk of the virus. 

“Closing all schools during this period of time provides Kansas officials and USD 250 administration the time needed to finalize a comprehensive plan for how to address COVID-19,” the email says.