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St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - Governor Tim Walz previously suggested it was unlikely and today he made it official; Minnesota schools will remain closed through the rest of the current school year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The governor held another news conference this afternoon at the state Emergency Operations Center to announce the extension of distance learning through the remainder of this academic year. Walz acknowledged this is not the perfect solution and the closing of the classrooms is having a disproportionate impact on students of color and rural communities.

The governor also announced a process that should allow some businesses that are currently shut down to resume operations in the very near future. He emphasized the "Stay at Home" order remains in effect, but his administration has developed criteria that can be used to determine if a business has put in place plans and have the resources to reopen without creating an unacceptable risk of accelerating the spread of the new coronavirus and endangering the state's health care system.

Under an executive order issued today, it's estimated about 20,000 Minnesota businesses employing 80,000 to 100,000 people could be eligible to reopen as soon as Monday.

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