SANTA ANA, Calif. - Some Orange County schools have been given the green light to reopen campuses for in-person classes as the county's COVID-19 positivity rate continued on its decline.
Orange County may be getting off the state’s COVID-19 "watch list" as early as this Saturday. As of Wednesday, the county had measured levels of new infections, hospitalizations and fatalities below the acceptable levels mandated by the state. If it maintains those levels for three days, or until Saturday, then the county will be removed from the list.
As a result, 22 public elementary schools in the Los Alamitos area received waivers from the state to reopen in-person classes, but the earliest that could happen would be September 6.
That’s because the county has to maintain the low levels for two weeks, after, those initial three days.
This comes as the county reported its first pediatric COVID-19 death.
While those schools may be able to reopen, businesses would have to get permission from the state, so Orange County is already in talks with California health officials discussing the possibilities.
Still, the focus remains on the 22 schools and how to keep them safe. County officials say they will offer COVID-19 testing to staff and students. They also said parents who wish to have their children continue going to school online, can do so.
FOX 11 talked to people about the possible reopening, from hard-hit economic areas like Santa Ana to cities like Orange, even the bastion of anti-COVID-19 restriction protest, Huntington Beach. Many people we talked to couldn’t help but point out the irony that one of the counties defying Governor Gavin Newsom's orders the most, regarding restrictions, seems to be one of the first, to perhaps, get off the list.