OregonLive, Eder Campuzano – Oregon Gov. Kate Brown ordered the state’s public schools to cancel classes through March 31 in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus.

The move comes hours after school boards in the Ashland, Lake Oswego, Reynolds and Tigard-Tualatin districts voted to do the same.

Brown’s order takes effect Monday.

In a statement, the governor said she had worked hard to keep schools open.

“However, I have heard from superintendents, school board members, teachers, parents, and students that it has now become impossible to functionally operate schools due to workforce issues and student absences,” Brown said. “Schools are experiencing critical shortages in staff, and superintendents are concerned for school personnel who are at elevated risk such as those over age 60 and those with underlying medical issues.”

Brown asked school administrators to spend the final two days of March preparing to reopen schools April 1 and ensuring they have adequate cleaning supplies.

She also asked school districts to develop plans to keep serving food to students despite the closures.

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