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Orange County is sending kids back to school this fall despite COVID-19 spike

Orange County in California just approved a return to school

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With most of Southern California’s coastline is shut down for the Fourth of July holiday due to a spike in coronavirus cases, the beach in San Clemente, Calif., remains open as crowds, socially distanced, fill the sand Saturday, July 4, 2020.

With most of Southern California’s coastline shut down for the Fourth of July holiday due to a spike in coronavirus cases, the beach in San Clemente, Calif., remains open as crowds, socially distanced, fill the sand Saturday, July 4, 2020.

Associated Press

The Orange County Board of Education has approved a new measure that would allow schools to reopen in August for in-person classes and instruction, despite a recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the county and in California, CBS Los Angeles reports.

What’s happening:

  • The board voted 4-1 Monday to allow schools to reopen.
  • Students and teachers can attend class without masks or social distancing, too.
  • Last month, the board held a meeting with experts who said in a paper that requiring students to wear masks “is not only difficult but may even be harmful over time.”
  • The paper reportedly said “social distancing of children and reduction of classroom size and census may be considered, but not vital to implement for school-aged children.”
  • The paper reportedly said “parents are in the best position to determine the education environment that best suits their children rather than government officials.”
  • The experts said there should be temperature checks in the schools. Hand washing and using hand sanitizer should be encouraged, too.

California sees a trend

  • Californiahas seen a recent surge in COVID-19 cases, leading Gov. Gavin Newsom to issue a second lockdown for businesses, like bars and indoor restaurants, according to The Los Angeles Times.
  • Earlier this month, Orange County saw a 9.4% increase in hospitalizations in three days. Experts told ABC-7 the new trend would continue.
  • “For Orange County specifically, I would say we’re in the top of the 2nd inning. I mean, this is just the beginning. We’ve heard about it all over the country, but it’s real now for us in Orange County,” said Dr. James Keany, a doctor in the emergency department at Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo.