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California

Coronavirus cases rise in Orange County amid calls to close all schools

COVID-19 testing in Orange County
COVID-19 testing at the Orange County Public Health Lab on Wednesday.
(Edward Mertz / Orange County Health Care Agency)

Orange County on Friday reported three suspected coronavirus cases, bringing its total to nine.

The new tally came as the Orange County superintendent of schools said he supported suspending all school operations for at least two weeks.

“This is not a decision we take lightly,” Supt. Al Mijares said in statement. “We know that temporarily closing a school has a tremendous impact on our families, and steps will need to be implemented to support the continuity of learning and to ensure students have access to healthy meals. But the safety of our students and staff remains our top priority, and we have confidence that this is the proper precautionary course for Orange County.”

Orange County’s top health official said she backed the closure idea.

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“I want to reassure our Orange County community that the risk of transmission remains low, and that there are no known cases of COVID-19 infection in a student or teacher at this time,” said County Health Officer Dr. Nichole Quick in a statement. “That said, I understand the concerns parents are experiencing and support the school district’s decision to close temporarily.”

Of the nine coronavirus cases, six are confirmed and three are presumptive. All but one is known to be travel-related.

Some Orange County schools have already said they would close.


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