Ventura County sees its first COVID-19 death, as cases climb in Southern California

Fernando+Estrada+waits+in+line+at+the+food+pantry+at+Moorpark+College+on+Tuesday%2C+March+17.+According+to+Estrada%2C+exercise+and+television+have+been+reliable+quarantine+activities%2C+while+health+and+safety+remain+the+highest+priority.+Photo+credit%3A+Evan+Reinhardt

Fernando Estrada waits in line at the food pantry at Moorpark College on Tuesday, March 17. According to Estrada, exercise and television have been reliable quarantine activities, while health and safety remain the highest priority. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

By Dominic D'Amico

Sunday evening, Ventura County suffered its first death in relation to COVID-19. Ventura County Public Information Officer Ashley Bautista stated that the deceased was a person in their 70s and had preexisting conditions, but was unable to provide any other information at the time.

This news comes as COVID-19 cases in Ventura County continued to rise over the weekend, from 19 on Friday night to 30 by Sunday night, with close to half of the new cases occurring in Simi Valley residents.

Two side-by-side pie charts compare the number of reported COVID-19 cases in Ventura County. The left chart shows the cases reported Friday March 20, with Simi Valley at 5, Camarillo at 4, Oxnard at 3, Thousand Oaks at 3 and Other at 4. The right pie chart shows the COVID-19 cases reported March 22, with Simi Valley at 10, Thousand Oaks at 5, Camarillo at 4, Ventura at 3 and Other at 8.

Chart created with Datawrapper, using data from Ventura County Public Health via VC Emergency. Photo credit: Dominic D'Amico

In terms of city-by-city growth, cases in Simi Valley doubled while cases in Ventura tripled. Additionally, the first cases of COVID-19 in Ojai and Westlake Village were discovered over the weekend.

On the other hand, there was no shift in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Camarillo, Oxnard, Santa Paula and Oak Park over the weekend, remaining at four, three, two and one case, respectively.

Rows of arrows, labeled by the cities in Ventura County where the cases originated point to to the right. The length of each arrow varies based on the number of COVID-19 cases confirmed in the county from March 20 through March 22. The arrows are also labeled with the percent increase of cases per city. Simi Valley is at the top with a 100% increase, Camarillo, Oxnard, Santa Paula and Oak Park all show an 0% increase. Thousand Oaks shows a 67% increase, Ventura shows a 200 percent increase while Ventura and Ojai both show their first cases.

Chart created with Datawrapper, using data from Ventura County Public Health via VC Emergency. Photo credit: Dominic D'Amico

Meanwhile, cases of COVID-19 have continued to grow across Southern California as well. Ventura County tied for the fifth highest increase in cases with San Luis Obispo County. Ventura County neighbors, Los Angeles County, Santa Barbara County and Kern County, saw widely different growth of COVID-19 cases. LA County grew by 117 confirmed cases, rocketing from 292 on Friday night to 409 by Sunday night, while Santa Barbara County saw a more moderate growth with nine cases. Kern County, on the other hand, saw no new cases at all, remaining stagnant with four confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Rows of arrows, labeled by Southern California County point to to the right. The length of each arrow varies based on the number of COVID-19 cases confirmed in the county from March 20 through March 22. Los Angeles County sits at the top with an arrow showing an increase of 117 cases followed by San Diego County with 74, Orange County with 30, Riverside County with 17, then Ventura and San Luis Obispo Counties with 11 each. Santa Barbara, San Bernardino, Imperial and Kern Counties finish off the list with nine, eight, two and zero new cases discovered, respectively.

Data collected from official sources from each county. Chart created with Datawrapper. Photo credit: Dominic D'Amico

State-wide, cases of COVID-19 grew over the weekend as well. Friday night, the California Department of Public Health reported 1006 confirmed cases of the disease, but by Sunday night, that figure had grown to 1468.

Finally, Moorpark College saw its first confirmed case of COVID-19 in a student, which also represents the first case for the VCCCD. More information on that case is available here. In terms of the data used in this story, the information was provided by Ventura County Public Health through VC Emergency.