On Thursday at a news conference, Governor Mike Parson says all of the state’s public schools have temporarily closed in response to the coronavirus outbreak. All 555 school districts and charter schools had reported closures as of 1:30 p.m. Thursday, according to the state education department, impacting 914,875 students. Parson says, leaving the decisions to local officials made sense because issues on the ground vary from school to school. He said, If you go to rural Missouri, for example, there are no daycare services there so when you shut a school down there, that creates problems itself. He added that in rural Missouri, schools can often be the largest employers in an area, so closing them has an impact on workers as well. Parson did not mandate the closures like governors in other states have.