Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announces updates on COVID-19 at a news conference on Tuesday, March 31, 2020, at the State Emergency Operations Center in Johnston, Pa. (Olivia Sun/The Des Moines Register via AP, Pool)

JOHNSTON, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Thursday she would order schools to remain on recess through April 30 as part of her efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Keeping schools closed at least through April was needed as Iowa sees more cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, Reynolds said at a news conference in Johnston.

“At this time I am not ordering schools to close for the remainder of the school year," she said. “As we have with all COVID-19 decisions, we will continue to monitor the situation, assess the measures we have in place and use data to make the right decision at the right time.”

Reynolds said school districts will be required to let state officials know how they plan to continue to provide educational opportunities to students. Districts may choose a program that uses distributed paper worksheets or online tools giving students credit or they may provide noncredit lessons. Those offering noncredit will be required to make up lost instructional time beyond what has not been waived by the Legislature.

School districts must notify the state of their plans by April 10.

Reynolds announce the plans for schools as she also extended other aspects of a statewide emergency declaration that included business closures.