Ventura County remains in the red tier as officials praise social distancing and discourage large holiday gatherings

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Image of COVID-19, Coronavirus. Photo courtesy of CDC.

By Adriana Janiga

Holidays are fast approaching and Ventura County remains in the red tier, the second of four tiers in the Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

The County of Ventura hosted the weekly COVID-19 Press Conference on Nov. 4, 2020 and discussed school and business reopenings, current healthy equity metrics and reducing the spread of coronavirus.

Ventura County Board of Supervisors Board Chair, Kelly Long, explained the red tier for Ventura County. Students are able to go back to school and businesses can open under strict rules and regulations indoors.

Long urged everyone to follow procedures and get tested if one feels to be exposed to the virus in any manner.

With schools reopening, Long recommended the community to follow the Health Department guidelines and to have empathy for students, parents, schools’ staff and teachers.

“Our County is working hard with the state levels of public health, CEOs, board of supervisors and many other departments to make sure that we are in alignment with the state and urging to open up in a safe way.” Long stated.

Ventura County Public Health Officer Dr. Robert Levin confirmed 112 new cases out of 1,691 new people tested. No new deaths were reported and remained at 167.

Ventura County has a positivity rate of 2.4% in health equity metrics, which means that out of 100 people tested, two or three will be positive.

This positivity rate also shows a significant decrease in vulnerable populations such as low income families, minorities, essential workers, among others, who have been disproportionately impacted by the virus.

Levin remarked on the importance of social distancing and avoiding large gatherings to keep businesses open and the cash flowing for the holidays.

“When businesses are open safely, people are earning a livelihood. Their spirits are improved, the economy flows with much needed cash, people can afford health care and better food becomes more available,” Levin explained.

Barry Zimmerman, Chief Deputy of Ventura County Health Agency, encouraged the community to use the available testing sites and help control the spread of the virus.

County Executive Officer Mike Powers thanked the community of Ventura County for working together and reminded everyone to continue following the Department of Health guidelines.

Powers mentioned that according to the tracing data, the main cause of spreading is mostly private gatherings and not from businesses.

He recommended against large gatherings during the holidays and to use the test sites available for everyone, resident or visitor, in Ventura County.

The County and State of California have set up test sites at fairgrounds, Oxnard College, Moorpark College, Santa Paula, and more, all at no charge. COVID-19 test sites are open from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, with some open on the weekends. Results will be electronically communicated on average within a day.

For information on test sites and locations, visit the Ventura County Recovers website.