Minnesota’s schools will remain closed through the end of the academic year, but stay-at-home restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus will be eased to allow up to 100,000 people return to work next week, the governor said Thursday.

Gov. Tim Walz, a former high school teacher and coach, said he took “no joy” in keeping schools closed, and that he doesn’t know about fall classes yet. He offered some comfort to seniors, saying he believed that the Class of 2020 will not be defined by missing proms and graduation ceremonies.

“You will be defined by understanding how interconnected our world is, and what it means to come together to try and solve hard problems. … This ties you together in a way that has not been ever seen,” he said.