Bellone: All Suffolk schools to close for two weeks

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone announced Sunday a local emergency order closing all schools in Suffolk County for two weeks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The closures are effective Monday, March 16. He said the decision was based on the recommendation of the County Health Commissioner and in consultation with the Superintendent’s Association.

“There is evidence that the virus is already present in many communities we serve, and our efforts now must be aimed at preventing its spread,” Mr. Bellone said in a statement. “As part of our larger social distancing efforts, we believe that closing schools is the right thing to do at this time.”

The county executive urged parents to practice social distancing while students are home and to quarantine on a “precautionary basis.” 

“While schools are closed for instruction, administrators and teachers will still have access to school buildings for local district planning, distance-based education purposes, temporary grab-and-go meal programs and childcare issues,” he said.