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SAN DIEGO (AP) — California officials said Wednesday the state would not consider removing college students' virus cases from a county's data because they are part of the broader community and can contribute to the spread of the illness.

“You can't isolate as if it's on an island, a campus community that is part of a larger community,” Gov.

Gavin Newsom said.

The issue arose as San Diego County — the state's second-most populous — has seen hundreds of cases among college students that have helped drive up infections.

San Diego State University has reported more than 700 cases, prompting the university to move classes online and mandate campus testing. Officials have said about three-quarters of the cases are tied to off-campus housing.

Helen Robbins-Meyer, San Diego County’s chief administrative officer, said Tuesday that she would ask the state to exclude the university's cases from the count to determine the county's infection rate.

The cases could push the county into a more restrictive tier for business operations next week. Dr. Mark Ghaly, California's health and human services secretary, said state officials are working with the county but if the data indicate that infections surpass state levels, the county will change tiers.

“If that's what the data shows, that's what the state is going to expect,” he said.

California has seen virus infections slow in recent weeks to the lowest levels in months. The state's positivity rate over seven days was 3.6 percent, with an average of 3,348 new coronavirus cases reported each day, and hospitalizations fell by 22 percent over a 14-day period, Newsom said. The positivity rate in San Diego is higher, at 4.5 percent.

“We are turning the corner and suppressing this latest increase,” he said.

Under the state's color-coded reopening system, counties revert to a tier with more restrictive limits if cases are above state-required thresholds for two straight weeks. The system is updated on Tuesdays.

Supervisor Kristin Gaspar wrote to the governor last week about San Diego State. While she joined a board majority Tuesday in defeating a proposal to defy state orders, she said the campus should be removed from the count.

“If this does not happen, we will have no choice but to take more drastic action,” she said.

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Trump calls on UN to hold China accountable for coronavirus pandemic

President Trump promised to hold China accountable for its failure to contain the novel coronavirus, setting off a chain of events that created a pandemic, in a confrontational speech to the United Nations General Assembly.

Like other world leaders he did not appear in person, but recorded his address a day earlier at the White House. Even without an audience, he struck a belligerent tone as he lay out an America First vision all underwritten by Washington’s military might.

His speech contained a list of accusations against Beijing, from allowing travelers to spread what he called the “China virus” around the world to polluting the oceans.

“The Chinese government, and the World Health Organization – which is virtually controlled by China – falsely declared that there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission," he said, calling on the UN to hold Beijing to account.

“Later, they falsely said people without symptoms would not spread the disease. ... The United Nations must hold China accountable for their actions.

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