MADISON, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) -- Today, Governor Tony Evers directed the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to mandate a statewide closure of all K-12 Wisconsin schools, public and private.

A copy of DHS Secretary-designee Palm’s order can be found here.

The closure will begin on Wednesday, March 18, so school districts can give families, educators, and staff time to make plans for the children affected. 

“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 our work to respond to and prevent further spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin,” said Gov. Evers.

The anticipated reopening date is April 6, 2020, but that date is subject to change. 

“Kids and families across Wisconsin often depend on our schools to access food and care,” Gov. Evers continued. “We are going to continue working to do everything we can to ensure kids and families have the resources and support they need while schools are closed.”