Iowa City schools to close until April 13 following governor’s recommendation to mitigate COVID-19 spread


Michael Guhin

The Iowa City Community School District sign is seen on April 29, 2019.

Marissa Payne, Editor-in-Chief

The Iowa City Community School District announced Monday it will close its schools until April 13 after Gov. Kim Reynolds recommended Iowa schools shut down for four weeks amid confirmed community spread of COVID-19.

The district said in a statement the closure affects all school programming, including before- and after-school activities, all athletic and extracurricular practices and competitions, all facility rentals, and all weekend events. Before-and-after-school programming and school-based health clinics will remain open through March 20.

The statement said Iowa City schools are actively preparing plans for continued learning and school meal services throughout the closure. Details on these plans will be shared within the district’s daily updates to families and staff after being finalized.

RELATED: Iowa governor recommends schools close for four weeks based on evidence of COVID-19 community spread

“Thank you for your patience and your understanding as we work together through this incredibly trying situation,” the statement said. “We will continue to provide updates as information becomes available. Please take care of yourselves.”

Reynolds will publicly announce her recommendation with additional information later Monday.

The Iowa High School Athletic Association, the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union, the Iowa High School Music Association, and the Iowa High School Speech Association has also prohibited spring activities per Reynolds’ recommended closure.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday announced new recommendations to cancel gatherings of more than 50 individuals for at least eight weeks. The IHSAA said in a statement that events following the planned four-week school closure in Iowa will be updated as the situation develops.

Closures to Iowa schools’ and school programming comes after Reynolds’ announcement that Iowa now has 22 positive cases of novel coronavirus, three of which are cases of community spread. One of those community spread cases is a Johnson County resident.

RELATED: UIHC treating second COVID-19 patient, one a case of community spread in Johnson County

Community spread occurs when individuals have been infected with the virus in an area and cannot identify the infection’s source, or do not know how or where they became infected.

One of Sunday’s new cases was the first Iowa test conducted by a national lab, Reynolds said in a statement.

“With testing options now expanding, Iowa expects the numbers of positive cases to increase,” according to a Sunday news release.

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