While some schools across the nation have been expected to open and resume operations amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it has been revealed that President Donald Trump's son Barron's private school will not be opening for in-person classes. Barron attends St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Potomac, Maryland, which is located in Montgomery County. According to the Associated Press, Montgomery County Health Officer Dr. Travis Gayles has issued an order for schools in the county to remain closed until Oct. 1.
The reason for this is due to increases in COVID-19 transmission rates in Maryland. The outlet notes that it has been noticeably higher in younger age groups as of recent. "Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have based our decisions on science and data," Gayles said. "At this point the data does not suggest that in-person instruction is safe for students or teachers." The school will still be able to conduct online classes, which is a plan that academy leadership had been prepared for. The 2020-2021 school year for St. Andrew’s is slated to begin on Sept. 8. Barron, who is 14 years old, will be entering ninth grade at the academy.
President Donald Trump insists that schools reopen so students can go back to their classrooms, but the Maryland private school where his son Barron is enrolled is among those under county orders to stay closed. https://t.co/q2pNWZt3dg— The Associated Press (@AP) August 2, 2020
President Trump has been adamant about schools reopening, and in early July he tweeted out his criticism of the CDC issuing a report that it would not be safe for schools to reopen. "I disagree with @CDCgov," he wrote. "While they want them open, they are asking schools to do very impractical things. I will be meeting with them!!!" The CDC later changed its position, stating that the "best available evidence from countries that have opened schools indicates that COVID-19 poses low risks to school-aged children, at least in areas with low community transmission, and suggests that children are unlikely to be major drivers of the spread of the virus."
As schools have started reopening, and preparing to reopen, around the U.S. there have been reports of coronavirus cases among faculty and students. CNN reports that the Gwinnett County School District, Georgia's largest school district, has confirmed that around 260 employees have either been exposed to or tested positive for COVID-19. "As of last Thursday, we had approximately 260 employees who had been excluded from work due to a positive case or contact with a case," GCPS spokeswoman Sloan Roach told the news outlet. "This number is fluid as we continue to have new reports and others who are returning to work."