County of Ventura Works to Seek State Approval to Move Forward on an Accelerated Path to Reopening

Board of Supervisors Meeting, May 19, 2020, 8:30 am

{Yesterday}, at noon the Governor announced variance guidelines for counties to move forward on an accelerated path to reopening. The County of Ventura has filed the variance tonight for the Board of Supervisors to approve at tomorrow’s regularly scheduled Board Meeting at 8:30 am.

“The preparations to protect public health combined with the confidence we have in our business owners and residents puts us in a great position to move forward on an accelerated path,” said Mike Powers, County CEO. “COVID-19 has had devasting impacts on both community health and our economy. We want businesses to be able to reopen and we believe they can and will do so safely.”

Given increased statewide and local capacity to respond to COVID-19, including stronger preparedness, continued stability in the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations, as well as increased ability to provide personal protective equipment to workers in essential sectors, the State announced the new attestation opportunity for counties to move through Stage 2, opening additional sectors of their economy at their own pace.

Regular Stage 2 has included curbside retail, manufacturing and supply chain businesses. The Governor has allowed counties that apply and qualify for a variance to move further along into Stage 2 with seated dining and the reopening of schools with modifications. The Public Health Officer, Doctor Robert Levin, is also supportive of in store retail as soon as the state approves. The Governor announced today that in store retail could happen within the next two weeks.

“We want our community to reopen safely. Community members and businesses must continue to practice social distancing to lower the risk of COVID-19 exposure. This will help keep our numbers low so we can continue to move forward in reopening businesses throughout our County,” said Doctor Levin.

Doctor Levin must attest that the County of Ventura has met the readiness criteria to move forward. Tomorrow the Board of Supervisors will vote to ratify the attestation at the regularly scheduled Board meeting to move forward with seeking a local variance from the State.

To qualify, counties must attest that hospitalization and test positivity rates are stable or declining; that they have a significant level of preparedness with testing, contact tracing, PPE and hospital surge; and that they have adequate plans related to county-wide containment.

The Governor announced today that there are adjustments to the criteria in moving forward on an accelerated path. The County of Ventura has met those criteria. Two areas include: 1) the rate of positive Covid-19 patients hospitalized cannot be greater than 5% in the last 7 days. The County of Ventura is at -3.4% in the past 7 days. 2) Positive test results for the last 14 days can be no greater than 8% and our local number is 3.5%.

The Governor also announced that starting today, some sectors of the economy statewide can begin reopening with modifications, including counseling services in places of worship, curbside libraries and drive-in movie theaters.

The public is invited to view the Board of Supervisors meeting streaming live at 8:30 am on 5/19/20 WATCH NOW it also streams on County of Ventura Facebook @countyofventura and