Gov. Tony Evers directed Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm to issue an agency order mandating the statewide closure of all K-12 schools, according to a press release from the Governor’s Office. 

The closure will begin March 18 and will last until April 6, though this is subject to change.

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Evers said this was a difficult decision to make as many students rely on schools for vital resources such as food. 

“Closing our schools is not a decision I made lightly, but keeping our kids, our educators, our families, and our communities safe is a top priority as we continue our work to respond to and prevent further spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin,” Evers said in the press release.

Evers said the state will continue to ensure students and families have the support they need during this closure. 

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The release said Wisconsin’s current number of COVID-19 cases is 19, including one individual who has recovered.

Kristina Minic, a senior at Hudson High School, said she was shocked when she heard the news and it felt unreal. 

“It feels super surreal and like we’re living in a dream,” Minic said. “Also everyone is super sad.”