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A protester during a demonstration in NYC. Photo: Ron Adar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The next big coronavirus battleground will be over who has the final say on whether schools can stay open.

Why it matters: This involves the safety of young children and their parents, not to mention older educators and staff, and comes at the same time as many of the parents are out of work.

In Maryland, Gov. Larry Hogan has overruled wealthy Montgomery County's decision to force private schools to join public schools in going virtual-only until October.

  • “Private and parochial schools deserve the same opportunity and flexibility to make reopening decisions based on public health guidelines,” he said in a statement yesterday.
  • “The blanket closure mandate imposed by Montgomery County was overly broad and inconsistent with the powers intended to be delegated to the county health officer.”

The big picture: Different levels of government have been at odds since March over business closures, mandatory quarantines, mask mandates and more.

  • There will be outbreaks at schools that meet for classes, as has happened in other countries, and the coming weeks will be crucial as officials determine their comfort level for keeping classrooms open despite fresh infections.
  • This is particularly hard when city, county and state officials are fighting.

Between the lines: This is also playing out during a wave of evictions, destabilizing homes at the worst possible time.

The bottom line: The coronavirus has hit America unequally on many fronts, and schools will be no different.

  • But for many of the millions of American parents staring at a fall of full-time parenting, teaching and work, the prospect of all this — plus no ability to plan long-term — could be the most daunting challenge of their lives.

Go deeper: What a day at school looks like in a pandemic

Go deeper

Nov 11, 2020 - Health

America's reopening is at risk

Ambulances line up at the entrance of the emergency room to drop off patients in Murray, Utah. Photo: AFP via Getty Images

It feels like early March again across America, where curfews are coming back and a slate of football games have been canceled or postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Concerns grow over CDC's isolation guidelines — Experts warn of more COVID-19 variants after Omicron — WHO recommends 2 new treatments — What "mild" really means when it comes to Omicron — Deaths are climbing as cases skyrocket.
  2. Vaccines: America's vaccination drive runs out of gas— Puerto Rico expands booster shot requirements— Supreme Court blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for large employers.
  3. Politics: Vivek Murthy calls SCOTUS vaccine mandate block "a setback for public health" — Focus group says Biden weak on COVID response, strong on democracy
  4. Economy: America's labor shortage is bigger than the pandemic— — CDC COVID guidance for cruise ships to be optional starting Saturday — The cost of testing.
  5. States: West Virginia governor feeling "extremely unwell" after positive test — Youngkin ends mandates for masks in schools and COVID vaccinations for state workers — America struggles to keep schools open
  6. World: Beijing reports first local Omicron case weeks before Winter Olympics — Teachers in France stage mass walkout over COVID protocols.
  7. Variant tracker
Nov 11, 2020 - Economy & Business

Airlines urge nations to replace quarantine with digital travel pass

Photo: Smith Collection/Gado

Three global alliances representing 58 airlines are pushing governments to replace onerous quarantine restrictions with widespread COVID-19 testing and digital travel passes that would verify who's safe to fly, AP reports.

Why it matters: Adopting common testing procedure with results verified by a secure smartphone app could help restart international travel by building trust between countries without requiring a 14-day quarantine.

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