The County of Ventura has been taking steps to prepare for reopening. “We are positioned to focus on the road to reopening because our residents and businesses have sacrificed so much to comply with the Public Health Orders and slow the spread of the virus in our community,” said Mike Powers, Ventura County CEO. “Our current situation is further strengthened by the work of our local hospitals to expand their capacity.”

“These steps are critical because we know that, while the virus poses an unprecedented health threat, efforts to stem the virus come at a significant economic and health toll as we have seen with so many business closures and lost jobs,” Powers emphasized. “Along with the business leaders in our community, including local cities, chambers, the Economic Development Collaborative, Women’s Economic Ventures, the Workforce Development Board, Ventura County Community Foundation and Small Business Administration, the County will continue to work to support these impacted individuals and businesses.”

California Governor Gavin Newsom has laid out six goals for reopening and our County has been meeting those goals:

Point One: The ability to monitor and protect our communities through testing, contact tracing, isolating, and supporting those who are positive or exposed

  • The Public Health Lab’s testing capacity has doubled.
  • The Public Health Lab is one of few in the state that are continuing to conduct contact tracing.
  • More resources are being added for expanded contact tracing.
  • Already providing isolation in hospitals, at designated facilities and isolation at home

Point Two: The ability to prevent infection in people who are at risk for more severe COVID-19

  • Providing meal support for isolated seniors.
  • Providing isolation locations for at-risk homeless or quarantined individuals that do not have adequate housing.
  • Relocating COVID-19 exposed or positive individuals out of long-term care facilities.

Point Three: The ability of the hospital and health systems to handle surges

  • Added over 800 beds to meet surge.
  • Implemented contracts and agreements for surge staffing.
  • Added nearly 100 additional ventilators.

Point Four: The ability to develop therapeutics to meet the demand

  • Established plasma donor registration to provide possible access to COVID antibodies.

Point Five: The ability for businesses, schools, and child care facilities to support physical distancing

  • Working closely with partners in education, community-based organizations and the business community to prepare for steps for reopening.
  • Our community continues to take steps to social distance.
  • The doubling rate of spread is slowing to 26 days.

Point Six: The ability to determine when to reinstitute certain measures, such as the stay-at-home orders, if necessary.

  • Daily tracking of test results, hospital utilization and capacity is in place.

“We are not out of the woods. We must continue to practice social distancing to protect our community. We will continue to expand our testing capacity and focus on protecting populations most at risk including seniors, homeless, and the brave farmworkers who work every day to put food on our tables,” added Powers.