Two Ocean County regional school districts have made the decision Saturday to shut down amid concerns over the Covid-19 coronavirus.

Red Bank Regional, Hazlet, Jackson, Barnegat and Pinelands Regional Schools are among the Jersey Shore and New Jersey school districts closing down to do a deep clean of their facilities as well as keep everyone safe and prevent the virus from spreading.

Central Regional Schools posted an announcement on Facebook Saturday of their plans to close.

Toms River Regional Schools Superintendent David Healy wrote a letter to the TR Schools parents and community informing them of the decision to close the schools.

Dear Toms River Regional Schools families:

Following Governor Murphy’s press conference on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) at 2:45 pm on Friday, our administrative team spent several hours seeking definitive answers on the issue of school closings, including multiple communications with area school districts, health officials and medical personnel, the Executive County Superintendent and, most helpfully, representatives from Legislative District 10.

On Friday evening at 7:12 pm, the NJ Department of Education issued an updated broadcast memo followed by correspondence from the Ocean County Health Department at 8:49 p.m.

Additionally, we were informed by the Legislative District 10 office that a conference call among health officials and freeholders from all 21 NJ counties and state leaders will take place at 10:00 Saturday morning.

At this point, the NJDOE has finally granted boards of education and school districts clear and proper authority in this matter.

In accordance with CDC and state officials’ directives to limit social contact to stem the spread of COVID-19, and in consultation with our Board of Education, Toms River Regional Schools will be closed Monday, March 16 to Friday, March 27.

Regular updates will follow as we navigate these challenging times.

During this period, the digital learning plan described in previous correspondence and on the district website will be enacted.

On Monday 3/16 and Tuesday 3/17, personnel including administrators and support staff will be available at each school building and at the 1144 Hooper Avenue offices in order to provide essential services and support the emergency plan implementation.

While schools are closed, maintenance teams will continue to sanitize our buildings thoroughly in preparation for the return of staff and students to our classrooms.

We continue to advise staff, students, and community members to follow health practices outlined by the CDC, linked on our website, to minimize the spread of the virus.

Families eligible for the federal meal plan will be contacted and provided with support.

Anyone requiring additional resources or technology assistance may contact their school or our Tech Department.

For more information and for the latest updates, please continue to refer to the district website at www.trschools.com.

This decision has been made in consideration of the health and well being of our students and community.

We are committed to continuing to provide the best education for our children, even at a distance.

It is a time unlike any other in memory save for Superstorm Sandy. May we, like we did then, weather this storm together.

Dan Alexander contributed to this report.

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