Top health officials for Maryland’s Montgomery County have ordered private schools to suspend in-person teaching until Oct. 1 at the earliest—a move that the county claims overrules Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s order that private schools be able to open when they choose. The fight began last week, when County Health Officer Travis Gayles ordered private schools to begin classes online in the fall. Hogan attempted to overrule that order with his own emergency order Monday, which barred county officials from forcing private schools to close. But, in a new order late Wednesday, Gayles said local health officers can “take any action or measure necessary to prevent the spread of communicable disease,” and doubled-down on the advice that private schools stay shut. The order covers St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, the suburban private school attended by President Trump’s youngest child, Barron. At an earlier news conference, Gayles said: “The purpose of what we’re doing is to keep kids safe.” Gayles has said schools should only reopen when the county has fewer than 10 daily cases.
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