Order prohibiting Montgomery County private schools from opening rescinded by health officer

The order prohibiting Montgomery County private schools from opening for in-person instructions until after October 1, 2020 has been rescinded by the county. 

County Health Officer Dr. Travis Gayles made the announcement Friday after criticism from parents, officials and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan. 

Hogan wrote on Twitter that he “strongly” disagreed with the decision taken in Montgomery County, a suburb of the nation’s capital.

“As long as these schools develop safe plans that follow (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and state guidelines, they should be empowered to do what’s best for their community,” Hogan, a Republican, wrote. “This is a decision for schools and parents, not politicians.”

READ MORE: Parents of private school students in Montgomery County sue county health officer

FOX 5 has been questioning officials for weeks as more than a half dozen parents of private school students in Montgomery County filed a federal lawsuit against the county’s health officer.

The families thanked Governor Larry Hogan for prohibiting the county’s blanket ban on private schools reopening, but pushed ahead with the lawsuit until the order was officially rescinded.

RELATED: Maryland Governor’s order overrides Montgomery County plan to keep private schools closed

The parents and their attorney said their schools are ready to reopen safely, but the county took unilateral action without looking at what those plans were.

Officials said the order is effective immediately.

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"The Health Officer continues to strongly advise schools against in-person learning due to the risks posed by COVID-19 and has asked that the Department of Health provide articulable criteria to be used in determining acceptable and safe levels of activity in schools," officials from the county said in a statement.