This content is being provided for free as a public service to our readers during the coronavirus outbreak. Please support local journalism by subscribing to the Daily Messenger: https://mpnnow.com/subscribenow.

BRIGHTON — Our Lady of Mercy School for Young Women told its students and families Thursday afternoon the school will remain closed for the rest of the school year.

Mercy was the first school in Monroe County to close its campus on Friday, March 13. Since then, classes have continued in the kitchens of the teachers and students. Those online classes will continue.

Mercy says the number one factor in deciding to keep its campus closed is not only the safety of the faculty, staff, and students but also the safety of the more than three dozen Sisters of Mercy whose Motherhouse is attached to the school building.

"We have 41 Sisters of Mercy who are more susceptible to catching and suffering from COVID-19, so we want to make sure they are safe," Mercy Principal Martin Kilbridge said.

Another contributing factor is Mercy's school year ends sooner than public school years, and the governor's order keeps public schools closed until May 15.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo promised an update on schools "by the end of the week." He did not talk about schools Thursday, so that means he will say something at his daily briefing Friday.