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Governor had initially said students could return to school at the end of the month.

Parents hoping to send their children back to school before April, we have bad news.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has extended the statewide school closure to six weeks, the governor's office announced Tuesday, March 17, that students wouldn't be back in school until at least April 28.

Brown had closed school for two weeks as a way to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has become a global pandemic.

Under the new restrictions, schools will remain closed through April 28. School districts are to continue to provide students and their families with the supplemental services families have come to rely on, such as meals, mental health services through the Oregon Department of Education and child care for emergency first responders and essential health care personnel.

Districts are to pay employees during the closure, Brown said.

"I do not take the decision to extend school closures lightly," Brown said. "This will have real impacts on Oregon's students, parents, and educators. But we must act now to flatten the curve and slow the rate of COVID-19 transmission in Oregon, otherwise we face a higher strain on our medical system and greater loss of life to this disease."

The closure is one of several restrictions Brown has imposed in an attempt to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Brown has also ordered restaurants to serve carry-out, or close down; has banned gatherings of more than 25 people and on Tuesday issued new restrictions on care facilities and group homes.

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