Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools will cancel school starting Monday, March 16, through at least Friday, March 27, the district announced Sunday afternoon. 

The closure includes all practices, activities and community education programs, according to a public news release. Students won't have school work during the two-week closure. 

The district made the decision the same day Gov. Tim Walz announced the state's schools would close starting Wednesday amid a global coronavirus pandemic known to have spread to dozens of people in Minnesota. 

The closure will give districts time to review and put into effect their plans for distance learning and other services, such as meals for students in need and child care for health and emergency workers, while the disease's outbreak continues, according to the governor. 

Spring break, scheduled for the week of March 23, remains the same, according to the district. 

The coronavirus reached 35 confirmed cases Sunday, including several in Carver and Dakota counties, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. Some cases were tied to community spread, meaning the people affected didn't catch it while traveling or in contact with another known case. 

State and federal health officials have urged the public across the country to avoid crowds and gatherings, cover coughs and wash hands often to help slow the disease's spread. It appears to be more severe and deadly than the seasonal flu for those affected, and there's no widespread immunity or vaccine. 


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