Mon. Sep 26th, 2022

Santa Ana, Calif. (July 15, 2020) – Orange County Supervisor, Don Wagner, and Health Director, Dr. Clayton Chau, applaud the efforts of the Orange County Department of Education to bring children back to school with safety measures in place. It is critical that young people not fall further behind in their education.



At all grades, we have lost valuable and irreplaceable teaching days. We have robbed social and emotional learning and threatened our children’s mental health. At some point, these losses cannot be made up, jeopardizing the next generation in the name of saving them.

The balancing effort the Orange County Department of Education must engage in to reopen schools in a social setting is a tough one, a point made by Supervisor Wagner at the presentation to the Orange County Board of Education earlier this month. The Orange County Department of Education’s effort is made more difficult by the fact that much remains unknown about the virus, the susceptibility of children to it, and the likelihood of spreading it to family members, teachers, school staff, or other at-risk members of the community. And ultimately, it is for parents to decide whether any potential risks are sufficiently lessened by the Orange County Department of Education’s reopening guidelines.

When the Board of Supervisors unanimously put out business reopening guidelines, Supervisors Wagner and Steel wrote them to incorporate the CDC’s then-current recommendations. The Supervisors called for physical distancing and urged the use of facial coverings where distancing was unavailable.

However it is important to note that Supervisor Wagner and Dr. Chau did not write, edit, or review the “white paper” the Orange County Board of Education brought forward. Both Supervisor Wagner and Dr. Chau encouraged the Orange County Board of Education to remain guided in their plan by the medical professionals. Supervisor Wagner specifically seconded the call of panel member, Joel Kotkin, to hear both sides of the mask issue.

Supervisor Wagner and Dr. Chau believe the Orange County Board of Education should follow the same procedures in determining the best way to safely reopen schools. However, it is important to reopen safely when the epidemiological data makes sense.

By Editor

Art Pedroza started Orange County's first political blog, the Orange Juice, back in 2003. He now publishes the top civic blog in Orange County - New Santa Ana, plus other blogs including New Anaheim, New Fullerton and the Irvine News Blog, as well as the OC Politics Blog.

3 thoughts on “The County of Orange pushes back at the OC Education Trustees who want to reopen schools without face masks”
  1. This seems convenient. Did Wagner and Chau opposed the OC Boards decision? What part did Wagner play in selecting members of this committee? Everyone knows the importance of having young people in school, but this County, along with Mr Wagner’s support, has decided the objective of dropping the spread rate of this disease to allow kids to safely return is too politically difficult for him. Mandate masks, increase testing and contact tracing, isolate outbreaks and then we can control the spread of this disease and allow kids to return. To suggest kids go back to school when OC case rates are climbing due to his unwillingness to lead is the same playbook followed by Washington that has made this country the leader in deaths and infections. Start showing some backbone and follow the science, Mr Wagner. Learn from other countries who first brought the disease under control before opening their schools. Sending the kids back into this mess that you have had a hand in creating is the height of irresponsibility and denial of accountability for your failure so far in managing this crisis.

  2. My humble advice to anyone is a position of power: grow a stronger backbone and follow the science – it’s the only thing we can trust. Where are the contact tracers??? Let’s set politics aside and deal with the crisis at hand. Please choose to lead with science/data in your sails, instead following the path of least resistance to being cowed down by the ignorant voices in our county.

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