Orange County could be removed from the state’s COVID-19 watch list as soon as this weekend following days of falling case numbers and other metrics, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.

If the county is removed from the state monitoring list—put in place by the California Department of Public Health to track how counties are faring with the virus—it could be cleared to resume in-person teaching by the second week of September.

The state has been monitoring Orange County’s case rate—or average new cases over two weeks—its positive testing rate, hospitalization figures and other coronavirus metrics since June.

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All of these metrics have been improving since Wednesday.

The county currently has a case rate of 95.6 per 100,000 residents, which is below the state department’s threshold of 100 per 100,000 residents, and lower than Wednesday’s rate of 98.6.

The state also tracks whether counties have seen a greater than 10% increase in the three-day average of hospitalized patients. As of Friday, OC’s average is down 2.3%.

Orange County currently has a 5.5% positive test rate, lower than the state’s threshold of 8%.

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