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Lower Positivity Rate, Other Factors Gets Orange County Removed From California's Coronavirus Watch List

FULLERTON (CBSLA) -- Orange County was removed on Sunday from the state watch list about areas of concern in California during the coronavirus pandemic.

Officials reported 153 new coronavirus cases and one additional death on Sunday, bringing the countywide total to 45,954 cumulative cases and 897 deaths.

Orange County's positivity rate is 5.4%, below the state's desired threshold of 8%, which contributed to the county being removed from monitoring.

The number of people hospitalized in the county has also been dropping leading to more availability of intensive care unit beds and ventilators.

Orange County is currently at 380 coronavirus-related hospitalizations as of Sunday, with 111 of those patients being treated in the ICU.

If Orange County stays off the state's watchlist for 15 days, all K-12 schools could potentially open for in-person instruction in early September, which remains a point of concern for some educators. Dozens of O.C. schools, mostly private, have already received waivers to reopen campuses.

"I think it's pretty scary actually because this virus is so contagious that once you open the schools, it's a whole other ballgame," said parent and teacher Wendy Kubiak. "I also teach high school and I really feel for them you know it's very hard bc they're so social and they need that interaction (but) my school doesn't really have a plan, my kid's school doesn't really have a plan."

Both local officials and health experts say the news is hopeful but it also means that whatever people are doing right in terms of helping to prevent the spread of coronavirus, they should keep it up.

Counties on the state's coronavirus monitoring list as of August 23 are Alameda, Butte, Colusa, Contra Costa, Fresno, Glenn, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Mendocino, Merced, Monterey, Riverside, Sacramento, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Ventura, Yolo and Yuba.

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