Broome County Executive Jason Garnar has declared a coronavirus state of emergency, closing all schools for four weeks.

Garnar announced his decision Saturday afternoon. He said discussions had been held with school district officials over the last several days.

Garnar said he believed the move to close local schools was "unprecedented." The announcement came shortly after a state of emergency and school closing order was made in neighboring Tioga County.

Broome County schools are to be closed through April 13. Garnar said a decision will be made at that time about whether it would be appropriate for schools to reopen.

Garnar said "our priority is that kids continue to receive the meals and services that they need." He said the county is working with school officials to develop plans to assist students and their families.

The county executive said more information is expected to be released Sunday.

Daycare centers are not closed at this time because they are governed by state regulators.

Although local officials say there have been no positive coronavirus cases reported in Broome County, the state continues to report one case tied to the county. That case is said to involve a University of Albany student whose home is in Broome County.




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