As members of the Ojai community, we are all understandably concerned about the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). As Mayor of the City of Ojai, I would like to share actions taken by the City of Ojai, but also share actions that residents can and should take to keep each other, and our community, safe.
This situation is unprecedented, we must be calm and reasonable. This is a public health crisis, and the lead agency for our area is the Ventura County Public Health Department. The Ventura County Public Health Department is the best, most authoritative source for information about this issue. The City has been in regular contact with the Ventura County Public Health Department, and many other partners, to help coordinate as needed.
On Friday, March 13, the City Council declared a local emergency, to provide more flexibility and allow the City to react quickly to needs. The City has postponed or cancelled several community events, and in line with the latest guidelines, discourage people from attending public meetings or gatherings of more than 10 people. The City is taking steps to help residents participate in public meetings by allowing email comments to our City Clerk’s Office.
The City has also begun to reach out to our business community, looking for ways to help enable curbside pickup and delivery, and providing additional hand washing stations throughout the City. The City is also keeping public restrooms open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to help ensure our vulnerable populations are able to wash their hands as needed. Our goal is to “flatten the curve” by reducing social interactions and reducing the opportunities for community transmission of the virus. The City may continue to implement measures, such as closing City Hall, to reduce the possibility of community transmission of the virus. We will provide electronic or other means to obtain services if we do so.
Most importantly, I’m asking you all to remain calm, support each other, and encourage best practices. Your personal behavior matters, and you can help reduce the spread of this disease by following county, state and federal advice about increased personal hygiene and reduced in-person contact. Work from home if you can. Practice social distancing by avoiding large groups and staying 6 feet away from others. Please share this information with your friends and family to help them stay safe and healthy.
In order to avoid misinformation, please refer to official sites for accurate information:
City of Ojai www.ojaicity.org
Ventura County www.vcemergency.com
California Department of Public Health cdph.ca.gov/covid19
United States Centers for Disease Control www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html
Lastly, to receive the latest notices from the City of Ojai, please sign up for the City’s email list. Please click on the COVID-19 Information Signup button on the City’s webpage, under quick links.
Mayor John F. Johnston
City of Ojai