The Diocese of Camden has announced that five schools will close including four in Atlantic and Cape May Counties.

The five schools set to close are Saint Joseph Regional Elementary School and High School in Hammonton, Cape Trinity Catholic Elementary School in Wildwood, Wildwood Catholic High School in Wildwood, and Good Shepherd Regional Elementary School in Collingswood.

In a statement released Friday, the Diocese said, "The decision to close the schools is difficult. Years of dwindling community support in the form of declining student enrollment and local fundraising, despite significant diocesan and parish financial support, has necessitated this decision."

The Diocese says enrollment is down anywhere from 12 to 50 percent at the five schools.

Officials also said COVID-19 is making the situation more difficult by saying, "...compounding the already existing financial and enrollment issues at these schools is the expectation that they will suffer further negative impacts due to the economic realities of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated business shutdowns and personnel layoffs that have been felt throughout the region."

All five schools will officially close at the end of the current school year.

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