San Diego County off state’s COVID-19 watchlist, can open schools if cases remain below threshold for 2 weeks

California
Patrons dine at an outdoor restaurant along 5th Avenue in The Gaslamp Quarter in downtown San Diego on, July 17, 2020. (SANDY HUFFAKER/AFP via Getty Images)

Patrons dine at an outdoor restaurant along 5th Avenue in The Gaslamp Quarter in downtown San Diego on, July 17, 2020. (SANDY HUFFAKER/AFP via Getty Images)

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San Diego County was removed from the state’s COVID-19 monitoring list Tuesday after meeting requirements for slowing the spread of the coronavirus.

The county has had fewer than 100 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people for three consecutive days, county officials said in a news release.

If San Diego County keeps that coronavirus case rate below 100 for the next 14 days, until Aug. 31, schools in the area will be allowed to reopen for in-classroom instruction, county officials said.

“Getting off the state’s County Monitoring List is a great first step, but we need to keep it up for another two weeks before all schools can open for in-person learning,” County public health officer Dr. Wilma Wooten said in a statement.

Gov. Gavin Newsom in mid-July announced only schools in counties off the state’s coronavirus watchlist for two weeks straight will be allowed to reopen for in-person instruction.

San Diego County officials said all current restrictions on businesses, including ones required to close indoor operations, will remain in place, even after the 14-day period, “unless the state provides additional guidance.”

San Diego County, which had been on the state’s monitoring list for six weeks, has had a total of 34,960 coronavirus cases and 626 deaths attributed to COVID-19.

Counties currently on the list include Los Angeles, Ventura, Riverside and San Bernardino, among dozens others.

L.A. County’s coronavirus case rate is now at 295 per 100,000 people. Health Director Barbara Ferrer has said the county may be able to get off the list in a matter of weeks if it continues to see steady declines.

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