VENTURA, Calif. – The County of Ventura has reached an important milestone for our community, County and our local economy. The Public Health Officer announced today a new modified Stay Well VC Health Order to align with the State of California’s four-stage framework for reopening. The County will move forward with the State’s Stage 2 of reopening lower-risk businesses on May 8, 2020.  This will allow retail businesses, such as clothing stores, bookstores, sporting goods stores and florists, for example, to reopen with curb side delivery, as well as the related manufacturing and supply chain businesses.

“We are at a turning point because of the community’s incredible compliance with social distancing and the sacrifices of individuals and businesses. These efforts have saved lives, helped prevent the spread of the virus in our community and put us in a position to move forward gradually and safely in reopening our economy. Our ability to move forward is directly tied to our continuing commitment to physical distancing.  With the issuance of Dr. Levin’s new Stay Well VC Order, we will align even more closely with the Governor’s revised order because we support the approach of evaluating businesses for reopening based on level of risk and we believe it will provide greater clarity.  The new local order will retain some aspects of our previous order in areas such as guidelines for seniors and long-term care facilities,” said Mike Powers, County of Ventura CEO.  

“Our community members have answered the call to stay well at home and thanks to them, we are in a position to move forward. These actions have saved lives. It is critical that our community continues to use caution. The virus is not gone. It is dangerous and poses a significant health risk. As we move into the next stage, we must do so with great care. We must continue to practice social distancing and businesses must make modifications needed to lower the risk of COVID-19 exposure,” said Public Health Officer Doctor Robert Levin. 

The County has made progress in meeting the Governor’s requirements for moving forward. These steps have included: hospital surge and personal protective equipment capacity; protection of high-risk patient populations: seniors, long term care facility residents, homeless; contact tracing capacity and thoughtful data driven public health guidance.

“The efforts to protect our community health and our local economy are aligned.  Investing in these public health steps will benefit the health of our community as well as our local economy. Until there is a vaccine, these are the only tools we have to identify and prevent the spread of the virus in our community,” said Powers. “We have a plan for verification and education under our Public Health Officer Doctor Robert Levin’s guidance to further ensure our local businesses can reopen and do so safely. We have found almost universally that our local businesses truly want to comply. Businesses and local business leaders with the Economic Development Collaborative, Cities, Chambers, Women’s Economic Ventures and the Ventura County Economic Development Association have come to the table in the spirit of compliance. They get it and want to make sure they protect their employees and customers.”   

IMPORTANT MESSAGE FOR BUSINESSES PLANNING TO REOPEN 

Before, reopening, all facilities must confirm the following: 

  • My business is in one of the designated industries permitted to reopen by the State of California & the VC Health Officer order
  • I have performed a detailed risk assessment of my business in accordance with state guidelines
  • I have a written worksite-specific COVID-19 prevention plan and have posted it at my business
  • I have implemented control and screening measures for my business
  • I have implemented disinfecting protocols for my business in accordance with state guidelines
  • I have trained employees on how to limit the spread of COVID-19 including how to screen themselves for symptoms
  • I agree to have an on-duty employee responsible for monitoring compliance with my plan
  • I have posted the compliance hotline flyer provided in a prominent location visible to the public and employees
  • I have completed the attestation form on www.vcreopen.com

If you are a business that is already permitted to be open and in operation you are asked to review these requirements and confirm that you have met these requirements by registering your business by May 18, 2020.

It is critical that employees needing to self-isolate because of COVID-19 are encouraged to stay home, with sick leave policies to support that, to prevent further infection in the workplace. 

More information about Stage 2: Lower-risk workplaces can be found at https://covid19.ca.gov/roadmap/