CAMDEN, NJ — KIPP's over a dozen schools in Camden and Newark will now be closed through April 20, school officials said Monday, citing the rising spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The closures were originally set until March 27.

"Our schools will now be closed through our scheduled spring break [April 13-17, and] reopening on April 20," school officials said. "The decision to close schools is not one that is made lightly, nor is it one that's made in isolation. We understand school closures can be disruptive and costly for families. We are grateful for the continued support and patience of our families and staff during this evolving situation."

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The closures impact all school programming, including before-and after-school activities, all athletic and extracurricular practices and competitions, and weekend events. 

Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday mandated schools be closed in the Garden State for a minimum of two weeks, with cases rising to 178.

The Camden City School District (CCSD) will be closed for at least two weeks. Superintendent Katrina McCombs outlined district plans and access to meals — with sites throughout the city including KIPP Lanning Square.

As of this report, although Camden has not reported any cases, Camden County has three presumed positive cases, and Newark announced its first case Sunday.

KIPP stressed that no cases have been reported at their schools.

"We want to do our part to ensure we are protecting the public and mitigating community spread of infectious disease," KIPP school officials said. "This closure will allow us to deep clean and sanitize our schools. As we monitor the spread of the coronavirus and receive further guidance from public health organizations, we will provide timely updates to families."

Parents with students enrolled at KIPP are instructed to contact their schools directly if they did not receive information or have any questions. 

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