Montgomery County leaders are taking new steps to keep students at home this fall despite an order from the governor allowing schools to reopen.
County Health Officer Dr. Travis Gayles issued an amended order prohibiting nonpublic schools from holding in-person classes through Oct. 1.
The county says the amended order reemphasizes the need to protect the health and safety of residents.
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Gayles says the data and science do not suggest in-person instruction is safe for students, teachers and others working in school buildings.
The order is a direct challenge to Gov. Larry Hogan, who issued an emergency order Monday barring county officials from requiring private schools to close.
Parents of private school students held a rally in Rockville Wednesday against what they call a power grab by the county.
A group of parents is suing Montgomery County over the original order to close private schools.
Counties still have the authority to close any facility that is deemed to be unsafe.