“This is a very sobering thing to say,” Newsom said, as he warned that schools are unlikely to reopen in the coming weeks and will more than likely remain closed until the summer break. “I don’t want to mislead you.”

If it holds true, more than 6 million California public school students would remain home for an unprecedented length of time unless the state finds alternatives.

Nearly 99 percent of the state’s schools have closed, though Newsom has not issued a state mandate requiring them to do so, citing concerns about the impact on low-income families.

Newsom also announced Tuesday that he has requested a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education to pause standardized testing.