CT schools to remain closed until at least May 20; Gov. to announce additional response efforts

Coronavirus

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut schools will remain closed through at least May 20, Governor Ned Lamont announced Thursday.

“At-home” learning will continue for students around the state as the need for social distancing to stem the time of the Coronavirus continues.

“Nothing would have made me happier than [to] be able to open up the schools sooner,” Lamont said during a news conference. “I’m afraid May 20 is the soonest we could possibly do, even with some of the good news we see trickling over the transom.”

On March 17, News 8 had obtained a letter sent from Commissioner Miguel Cardona to school officials that suggests Connecticut’s public schools may remain closed for the remainder of the school year in response to the COVID-19 virus.

Then on March 24, Governor Lamont told a New York radio station that April 20 would likely be the earliest schools would re-open, but he included a more dire warning.

“I really think that’s the likelihood,” Lamont said in an interview on WCBS 880. “You just look at Italy and you look at Wuhan province, you see what the life cycle was there and you worry that if people get back too quickly that there’ll be a second iteration of this virus. So April 20 is the minimum, probably the school year.”

“We know we may need to cancel classes for the remainder of the year, and while we are not announcing that today, we are planning for the worst case scenario,” Cardona said.

The commissioner said that graduation is not off the table. He said seniors worked hard and deserve the ceremony; however, it may be later than planned.

“Students, you will get your moment,” he said. “If it is necessary, it will be postponed until it is safe, but you deserve your moment for your years of hard work, and you will get it.”

Many soon-to-be graduates support the decision, saying it’s needed, especially after the pandemic is over.

“It’s important to have everyone there and feel like a community because you’ve gotten through for years and sometimes longer to reach that moment, so I lit think a lot of kids would really want that togetherness,” said senior Liam Wilson.

“As a parent, it’s a mile stone maybe it’s more for us, but I think we need to do something,” said Beth Kerrigan, of West Hartford. “We can’t just forget that they’re about to graduate. What does that look like, I don’t know? In the world of technology there are all sorts of options, but certainly we want to get creative and acknowledge that this is a major milestone for the students.”

Gov. Lamont is set to provide an update on Connecticut’s coronavirus response efforts on Friday.

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