ALAMEDA COUNTY, CA — Public schools will remain closed in six Bay Area counties through May 1 due to the new coronavirus outbreak, health officers and school superintendents in each county announced Wednesday.

The school closures are being extended in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. The health officer for the City of Berkeley, within Alameda County, also participated in the unified decision.

"The safety and wellness of students, school personnel, and the community are the highest priorities of all schools and districts in these six counties," the six counties said in a news release.

Education offices in each county have been working together to align strategies since the Bay Area's shelter-in-place order was issued March 16 by each county's health officers, they said.

School facilities will stay open to staff for essential tasks, and education will continue "through flexible learning," the counties said. Schools will continue to provide meals and childcare, when possible.

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Full coronavirus coverage: California Coronavirus: Live Updates On Cases, Closures, Orders