Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister address the media during a press conference March 12, 2020 about COVID-19 and the potential for school closures.

Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma officials say school districts should be prepared to close for coronavirus

Though state leaders say schools should stay open for the time being

  • Robby Korth

Even though there are just three confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Oklahoma, state leaders are suggesting that school districts stay vigilant and be prepped for a potential closure.

In a press conference Thursday afternoon, Gov. Kevin Stitt and State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister urged school district leaders to take caution and use “common sense.”

“We are working with our schools all across our state to evaluate the developing situation on a day-by-day basis,” Stitt said. “We want to stress that at this time it is important that we remain calm and be judicious in decisions to close schools and business. It is the state’s recommendation that schools remain open.”

“We truly are all in this together,” Hofmeister said. “Our educators care deeply about our students and their families. And I know that their well-being is of paramount importance.” 

Hofmeister said students and their families should be particularly careful while traveling during Spring Break next week.

“Individuals returning from travel to China, South Korea, Italy, Iran, Japan or any other Level 2 or 3 country as identified by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) should self-quarantine for a period of 14 days before returning to school,” an advisory from Hofmeister to districts said.

Hofmeister and other state leaders are meeting regularly to monitor coronavirus and will keep district superintendents informed as the situation develops but the ultimate decision to close will be up to local school boards.