Orange County could be removed from coronavirus watch list as soon as Saturday

Orange County could be removed from the state's coronavirus watch list as soon as Saturday, which would set in motion the reopening of schools.
LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. (KABC) -- Orange County could be removed from the state's coronavirus watch list as soon as Saturday.

The possible removal comes as hospitalizations in the county are dropping, and as two dozen private elementary schools and the Los Alamitos Unified School District received approval via waivers to resume in-person education on campus.

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"The majority of applications have large staff & parent support. We weighed the risks & the benefits of offering in-person education," the Orange County Health Care Agency tweeted Thursday. "There are parents who only want online education for their children; and we encourage that, especially children who are at higher risk."



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Some parents with children in Los Alamitos schools are ready to send them back, but others remain caution.

"I think we should wait. Maybe just another couple of weeks but we don't know enough," said Susan Mason.

Removal from the watch list would set in motion the reopening of more schools. The state mandates a county must be off the watch list for 15 days before schools can reopen, said Dr. Clayton Chau, the county's interim chief health officer and director of the Orange County Health Care Agency,

Chau said it's possible that all K-12 schools in the county could reopen by Sept. 6.

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Several Orange County schools that want to reopen for in-person instruction have submitted their waiver applications to health officials.


Meanwhile, the O.C. Health Care Agency says if parents have concerns about a particular school's waiver application, an e-mail can be sent to at TK-6Waiver@ochca.com.

For schools granted waivers, the county will provide testing for staff and students and a "full medical team in partnership with (Children's Hospital of Orange County) physicians group and have pediatricians standing by to guide and inform."



City News Service contributed to this report.
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