Almost all prefectures across the nation began shutting schools Monday in a bid to prevent further spread of the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19, four days after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe issued a shock request for a total school closure until early April.

As confusion spread among many local authorities, some schools held final classes of the year or left facilities open for children unable to stay home alone while their parents work.

Shimane Prefecture, among those that have seen no reported cases of the virus so far, is the only such authority to have said it would not close any of its schools.