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Laguna Beach Unified School District rolls out COVID-19 online ‘dashboard’

A student arrives on the bus as kids return for in-person learning in Laguna Beach.
A student arrives on the bus as kids return for in-person learning at Top of the World Elementary School in Laguna Beach.
(Roger Wilson)

The Laguna Beach Unified School District rolled out an online COVID-19 “dashboard” this week, a measure intended to provide transparency as it relates to the number of confirmed cases among staff and students at its schools.

El Morro Elementary and Top of the World Elementary, the district’s two elementary schools, welcomed students back on campus as the district commenced with its hybrid learning model on Oct. 5.

The district also has two secondary schools — Thurston Middle School and Laguna Beach High School — both of which continue to conduct distance learning.

The online dashboard shows the total number of students and staff at each school, the confirmed positive cases among students and staff over the previous two weeks, the percentage of a school’s population that its cases make up during the same two-week period and the cumulative total cases at each school since Aug. 24.

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Within the past two weeks, the school population of Top of the World Elementary and Laguna Beach High have each had one confirmed positive test. Voluntary testing for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has been offered by the district.

District officials indicated that in the event of a confirmed positive test, the district will work with the Orange County Health Care Agency to conduct contact tracing for those who have been in close contact, within six feet of the infected individual for 15 minutes or more.

Those considered to be close contacts of a confirmed positive case will be given directions for self-isolation.

If a student has tested positive for COVID-19 or is showing symptoms, the district is asking parents to keep their child at home and contact their school’s nurse. Best practices of handwashing, physical distancing and wearing a face covering are also encouraged.

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The Orange County Health Care Agency reported 31 coronavirus deaths and 153 new infections in its latest numbers released on Thursday.

Among the reported deaths were those of 17 skilled nursing facility residents and two assisted living facility residents. The county’s death toll due to the virus rose to 1,391. The cumulative cases seen in the county is 56,436.

Currently, there are 164 hospitalized because of the virus, and 66 of those patients are being treated in intensive care units.

An additional 6,623 tests for COVID-19 were reported within the last day, bringing the total number of tests administered to 970,212. Approximately 50,459 people in the county have recovered from the virus, the healthcare agency estimated.

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The county resides in the second, red tier, possessing seven-day averages of 4.6 daily new cases per 100,000 residents and a testing positivity rate of 3.5%. Those numbers come with a seven-day lag.

Below are the coronavirus case counts and deaths for select cities in Orange County:

  • Santa Ana: 10,843 cases; 301 deaths
  • Anaheim: 9,640 cases; 301 deaths
  • Huntington Beach: 2,493 cases; 81 deaths
  • Costa Mesa: 1,917 cases; 41 deaths
  • Irvine: 1,774 cases; 13 deaths
  • Newport Beach: 1,182 cases; 26 deaths
  • Fountain Valley: 533 cases; 19 deaths
  • Laguna Beach: 236 cases; fewer than five deaths

Updated figures are posted daily at occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/coronavirus-in-oc. For information on getting tested, visit occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/covid-19-testing.

Turner writes for Times Community News.


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