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California public school campuses are unlikely to reopen for the remainder of the academic school year in response to the coronavirus pandemic, state Supt. of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond said Tuesday in a letter to school district officials.

“Due to the current safety concerns and needs for ongoing social distancing it currently appears that our students will not be able to return to school campuses before the end of the school year,” Thurmond wrote.

Earlier, Thurmond had resisted suggestions that there was no hope for returning to campus. His letter represented a shift in direction and echoed views that Gov. Gavin Newsom expressed two weeks ago, which the governor reiterated Tuesday.

Newsom said at a briefing that an announcement on the fate of the school year could come “in the next day or two.”

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