April 22: Ventura County government discusses steps for reopening

4 21 ROAD2 The Ventura County government is taking steps to prepare for reopening, according to a press release on Wednesday. "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,” Powers said. ”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. 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."

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Gov. Gavin Newsom has laid out six goals for reopening, and county government has been working to meet those goals, according to the press release:

Point 1: The ability to monitor and protect communities through testing, contact tracing, isolating and support those who are positive or exposed.
— Ventura County Public Health Lab's testing capacity has increased.
— The Public Health Lab is conducting contact tracing for people in high-risk occupations and instructing others in low-risk occupations to notify their contacts.
— More resources are being added for expanded contact tracing.
— Providing isolation in hospitals, at designated facilities and isolation at home.
Point 2: 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 people who do not have adequate housing.
— Relocating COVID-19 exposed or positive individuals out of long-term care facilities.
Point 3: The ability of the hospital and health systems to handle surges.
— Added more than 800 beds.
— Implemented contracts and agreements for surge staffing.
— Added nearly 100 additional ventilators.
Point 4: The ability to develop therapeutics to meet the demand.
— Established plasma donor registration to provide possible access to COVID antibodies.
Point 5: The ability for businesses, schools, and childcare 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 from 14 to 16 days.
Point 6: The ability to determine when to reinstitute certain measures, such as 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,” Power said. “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.
To view Powers comments during the April 20 county government update, visit: video update:

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