BREAKING NEWS May 7: New Ventura County Public Health Order to allow some businesses to gradually reopen

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The graphics are PowerPoint presentations provided by Ventura County CEO Mike Powers to the Ventura County Board of Supervisors on May 5.


By Austin Widger, Ojai Valley News reporter
Ventura County Public Health Officer Dr. Robert Levin announced a new modified Stay Well Order May 7. The new order follows and aligns with the state guidelines issued May 7 on the state’s Stage 2 plan to gradually reopen some lower-risk businesses.
To read the new Stay Well Order, visit: or log on to  .
According to the county’s news release May 7: “Stage 2 includes lower-risk workplaces. Curbside retail, including but not limited to bookstores, jewelry stores, toy stores, clothing stores, shoe stores, home and furnishing stores, sporting goods stores, antique stores and music stores. This will be a phased-in approach. It will start with curbside pickup and delivery until the governor provides further guidance to allow in-store shopping.”
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Ventura County businesses and residents must abide by the county Public Health Order, which can be more restrictive than the state’s, but not less restrictive.
Ventura County will have a website for business registration at . The new order will be posted on .


Ojai Valley News is providing COVID-19 news for free to the community. Please subscribe today for even more local reporting by calling 805-646-1476 or visit Thank you!



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Earlier in the week, Ventura County CEO Mike Powers discussed what Stage 2 means locally. Powers said: “We heard some positive news from the governor … that they’re moving forward on their road to reopening, so that we can move forward on our road to reopening here locally as well.”
Powers said that on May 8, the county would allow the opening of bookstores, florists, sporting good stores and office stores for curbside pick-up, as well as the manufacturing and supply chains that support them.
Powers said: “With the good work that you’re (county residents) doing, you’re helping us meet these criteria so that will allow us to move forward down the road to reopening. …. These measures are important for our public health, but they’re also important for our economy. Because as we’ve talked about before, we know there’s a health impact to the virus. But there’s also a devastating economic and health impact to the efforts to stem the virus.”
Gov. Gavin Newsom laid out his four-stage plan to reopen the economy last week. The first part of Stage 2 allows some lower-risk workplaces to gradually open with adaptations and restrictions. The state is no longer looking at essential versus nonessential businesses in this stage, but is now categorizing workplaces as lower-risk and higher-risk.
On May 8, some retail stores opened for curbside pickup only, as well as manufacturing and logistics businesses.
To view the specific state guidelines, visit: .
The Stage 2 sectors, businesses, establishments or activities qualify to reopen upon certification that the county meets California Department of Public Health criteria and implements the relevant industry guidelines. This list may be periodically expanded if the chief public health officer deems it to be in the interest of public health and safety.
Before reopening, all facilities must do the following:
— Perform a detailed risk assessment and implement a site-specific protection plan.
— Train employees on how to limit the spread of COVID-19, including how to screen. themselves for symptoms and stay home if they have them.
— Implement individual control measures and screenings.
— Implement disinfecting protocols.
— Implement physical-distancing guidelines.
— Post state provided checklist and written worksite specific plan for your industry at the place of businesses and have an on-duty employee responsible for monitoring plan compliance.
— Complete the reopen registration form at .
Retailers are also encouraged to install hands-free pickup devices. California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said during Newsom’s press conference Thursday that all manufacturers should close break rooms and add outdoor break areas. Warehouses should implement similar measures as manufacturers, and also carry sanitation materials during deliveries, using personal protective equipment for every step, Ghaly added.
Seventy percent of the state’s economy is impacted with these modifications, Newsom said.
Levin said: “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.” 
The county’s news release said: “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.”

Ojai Valley News is providing COVID-19 news for free to the community. Please subscribe today for even more local reporting by calling 805-646-1476 or visit Thank you!