(CBS SF) – A group of public health experts, along with parents and teachers are calling on Gov. Gavin Newsom to halt permanent school closures during the duration of the coronavirus crisis.

The group is calling on Newsom to issue an executive action until the health crisis is over.

At least 16 schools in six school districts statewide are slated to be closed or merged. Meanwhile, dozens more schools are set to be co-located with charter schools.

While all public schools are closed for the current school year, Newsom has called for greater social distancing if students are able to return to campuses in the fall.

“Any plan that would increase crowding or increase the number of students in a classroom goes exactly in the wrong direction, with regard to the prevention and control strategies we’re trying to implement and have in place,” said Dr. Art Reingold of the UC Berkeley School of Public Health.

The group also argues the schools slated to be closed are located in communities already experiencing higher rates of infection and death from COVID-19.

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