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The majority of governors in the United States have ordered or recommended that statewide school closures continue for the rest of the academic year to help reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus.

(CNN) -- The majority of governors in the United States have ordered or recommended that statewide school closures continue for the rest of the academic year to help reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Several states have announced their plans to begin lifting social distancing measures and the federal government has issued new guidelines to reopen the country in phases, but it doesn't appear that students will return to the classroom this spring.

More than half the states in the US -- including Minnesota and Rhode Island -- as well as Washington, DC, have issued orders that will keep students at home, according to a CNN tally of school closures.

"At this point in time, there is no authoritative guidance, or advisories with respect to how to operate schools, safely and how to get kids to and from schools safely," Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker told reporters on Tuesday. "We believe students, therefore, cannot safely return to school and avoid the risk of transmitting this virus to others."

Other states have only recommended that local officials continue supporting students through distance learning models. Those states are California, Idaho, Kentucky, Maine, South Dakota and Tennessee.

These orders and recommendations impact approximately 38.6 million public school students, according to Education Week

States with mandatory closures

Alabama

Alaska

Arizona

Arkansas

Colorado

District of Columbia

Florida

Georgia

Hawaii

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Louisiana

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Mexico

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

Texas

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Correction: Earlier versions of this article incorrectly stated Nebraska schools were under a mandatory closure for the remainder of the school year.

The-CNN-Wire

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