Omaha Westside, Douglas County West and Omaha Catholic schools will be closed next week, school officials said.

Westside officials said Friday that the closures mean no school, practices, travel, meetings, contests or testing from Saturday through next Friday.

Officials will focus next on the week of March 23-27. “We will communicate that decision late next week,” according to a Westside press release. “Beyond that, we are operating with a week-to-week mindset. This situation is literally changing by the hour.

“By this coming Monday afternoon … we will communicate information about food availability in our community for those in need.”

The Archdiocese of Omaha said Catholic school officials will review whether to reopen Monday, March 23, after consulting with health and government authorities. An updated announcement will be made by Thursday.

Superintendent Michael Ashton said Friday that the decision was made based on practical and medical considerations.

Catholic schools, he said, share some services and many families with the Omaha Public Schools, which announced Thursday that its schools would be closing next week because of the coronavirus outbreak.

“There are certainly medical concerns in our community that this addresses as well,” Ashton said.

Douglas County West Community Schools Superintendent Melissa Poloncic said in a letter Friday that the district’s closure also means no school activities, practices or gym use. Staff will report on Monday and Tuesday to prepare online learning activities.

The Lincoln Public Schools also canceled classes and activities next week. Staff was expected to report to work on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The Catholic Diocese of Lincoln also announced its schools will close next week.

The Ralston Public Schools also said Friday that its schools would be canceled next week. Other school districts in the metro area called off school on Friday and have spring break next week.

Emily covers K-12 education, including Omaha Public Schools. Previously, Emily covered local government and the Nebraska Legislature for The World-Herald. Follow her on Twitter @emily_nitcher. Phone: 402-444-1192.

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