Alabama Governor Kay Ivey announced Thursday afternoon that primary school students across the state will not return to their classrooms amid concerns about the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus and will instead finish this academic year from home.

Ivey's announcement comes on the same day that the Alabama Department of Public Health confirmed the 500th case of the virus in the state and one day after COVID-19 claimed its first Alabamian life.

In a State Proclamation issued Thursday afternoon, Ivey ordered all public K-12 schools to implement a plan to complete the 2019-2020 school year using alternate methods of instruction that allow students to stay at home.

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