May 8: New Ventura County Public Health "Stay Well VC - Safely Reopening Ventura County" Order issued


To read the new 10-page Ventura County Pubic Health “Stay Well VC” Order, visit:


Safely Reopening Ventura County



on March 4, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom proclaimed a State of

Emergency to exist in the State of California as a result of the threat of COVID-19; and

WHEREAS on March 12, 2020, the County of Ventura Health Officer (“County Health Officer”) issued a Declaration of Local Health Emergency pursuant to Health and Safety Code section 101080, finding that there existed an imminent and proximate threat of the spread of COVID-19 in Ventura County (“County”), and said Declaration was ratified by the County of Ventura Board of Supervisors on March 12, 2020; and

WHEREAS on March 17, 2020, the County Health Officer issued an order directing that all individuals past a certain age remain in their places of residence, limiting the operation of food facilities, and closing specified businesses that serve large gatherings; and

WHEREAS on March 19, 2020, the State Public Health Officer issued an order requiring that all individuals living in the State of California stay at home except as needed to maintain continuity of operations of critical infrastructure sectors as defined (“State Stay at Home Order”); and

WHEREAS the County Health Officer is required by Health and Safety Code section 101030 to enforce and observe all orders of the State Public Health Officer and all statutes relating to public health; and

WHEREAS State law permits local health officers to issue public health orders that are more restrictive, but not less restrictive, than an order issued by the State Public Health Officer, the County Health Officer, based on his evaluation of the unique needs and circumstances existing within the County, issued additional health orders on March 20, March 31, April 9, April 18 and April 20, 2020; and

WHEREAS the County Health Officer has determined that there no longer exists a need for local health orders that are more restrictive than the State Stay at Home Order with respect to many activities of individuals and businesses, and that the public health and welfare would best be served by a single set of regulations where reasonable to avoid public confusion between State and local orders; and

WHEREAS the State of California has identified businesses on its website at that are able to reopen under the statewide order; and

WHEREAS the County Health Officer has determined that some elements of his current order are not addressed by the State Stay at Home Order, and that the public health would be served by supplementing the State Stay at Home Order as set forth below;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Dr. Robert Levin, the County Health Officer, pursuant to Health and Safety Code sections 101040, 101085 and 120175, hereby issue the following order (“Local Order”) to be effective immediately:


  1. Commercial laboratory test results. All commercial laboratories that test persons in the County for the presence of COVID-19 must report all testresults (whether positive or negative) to the Ventura County Public HealthDepartment laboratory within eight hours of receiving the test results.

  2. Special rule for persons 70 years of age or older. All persons currently living in the County equal to or older than 75 years of age, or equal to or older than 70 years of age with an active or unstable comorbidity, are ordered to stay in their place of residence and must at all times follow Social Distancing Requirements to the greatest extent feasible. Such persons may leave their places of residence only as necessary to seek medical care or exercise or nutrition or to perform essential work in furtherance of Healthcare Operations or Essential Governmental Functions or Services.

    a. For purposes of this section, “Healthcare Operations” means and includes hospitals, clinics, dentists, pharmacies, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, other licensed healthcare facilities, healthcare suppliers, home healthcare services providers, mental health providers, chiropractors, acupuncturists or any related and/or ancillary healthcare services, includingblood donation centers, and veterinarians and all other healthcare services provided to animals. “Healthcare Operation” does not include fitness and exercise gyms, aquatic centers and similar facilities.

b. For purposes of this section, “Essential Governmental Functions or Services” means government functions or services performed by first responders, emergency management personnel, emergency dispatchers, court personnel, law enforcement personnel, and others who perform essential governmental functions or services as such may be determined by the governmental entity performing those functions or services.

  1. Admittance to Long-Term Care Facilities. Long-Term Care Facilities may not refuse to admit any person who has been diagnosed with or treated forCOVID-19 after that person has been discharged from a health care facility and approved for admittance to a Long-Term Care Facility by the Ventura County Public Health Department.

    a. For purposes of this Local Order, “Long-Term Care Facility” meansa long-term care facility, skilled nursing facility, intermediate care facility, congregate living health facility, nursing facility, hospice facility, residential care facility for the elderly, residential facility, or community care facility as defined in Health and Safety Code sections 1250, 1502, 1503.5 and 1569, and regulations promulgated thereunder, as they may be amended from time to time.

  2. Hospitals and Long-Term Care Facilities. The County Health Officer recognizes the authority of the guidance documents “Hospital Holding Unit Guidance for COVID-19” and “Long-Term Care Facility Guidance forPreventing and Managing COVID-19” (the current versions of which are available at and strongly advises all hospitals and Long-Term Care Facilities to comply with the guidance.

  3. All businesses must establish, implement and enforce COVID-19 prevention plans. All businesses must establish, implement and enforce a site-specific prevention plan in accordance with the State of California COVID-19 industry Guidance and associated checklist found at Prior to reopening, all businesses must register and attest to their preparedness for safely reopening at Businesses that were operating under the previous order must also register and attest to their adherence to state guidelines within ten days at

    As a condition of operation, each business must post a written notice explaining how it will comply with Social Distancing Requirements in conspicuous places where it can easily be seen by employees and patrons of the business facility. The written posting shall identify by name and telephone number the County Covid Compliance Hotline where compliance related questions or complaints may be reported by employees and patrons.

Further, all businesses, as a condition of operation, shall admit without delay any officer, employee or agent of the County of Ventura or local city to their business facilities for the purposes of inspection for monitoring and compliance. The failure to cooperate with such inspectors, or repeated and confirmed violations of COVID-19 prevention requirements, may lead to issuance of a business-specific closure order by the County Health Officer.

  1. Social Distancing Requirements defined. “Social Distancing Requirements” means and includes maintaining at least a six-foot physical distance from other persons, washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer as frequently as possible, covering coughs or sneezes (into the sleeve or elbow, not hands), regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces and not shaking hands.

  2. Food facilities. Under the State Stay at Home Order, all permanent food facilities, as defined by Health and Safety Code section 113849, may only prepare and offer food that is provided to customers via delivery service, via pick-up for takeout dining, and via drive-thru. This Local Order, in addition, requires that permanent food facilities that prepare and offer food via delivery service, pick-up or drive-thru must comply with the following procedures:

    a. Containers required. All food must be completely contained in a suitable container before being transferred to a customer. For example, ice cream cones are not allowed; ice cream scoops in a covered container are allowed.

    b. Must consume food away from premises. The exception for take-out food activities is designed to enable persons who are confined to their places of residence to obtain prepared food to take back to their places of residence for consumption. The take-out food shall not be consumed anywhere within the line-of-sight of a person standing in front of the facility that sold the food.

    c. Six-foot spacing must be maintained. All persons waiting in line or otherwise congregating outside a food facility selling food via take-out, delivery ordrive-thru shall maintain a distance of at least six feet from all other persons.

  1. Primary retail business must be critical infrastructure to be fully open. Only retail businesses whose primary line of business qualifies as critical infrastructure under the State Stay at Home Order may be fully open to the public, e.g., businesses whose primary business is the sale of food, beverages, pet supplies, household cleaning products, etc. Items the sale of which constitute less than 33 percent of a business's gross sales over the last six months are considered to beless than primary. For example, a tobacco or vape store that sells a minimal amount of snacks and water as a side business does not qualify as a grocery store, convenience store or similar establishment that can be fully open to the public under the current State Stay at Home Order.

  2. Businesses and activities that must remain closed even if allowed by State Stay at Home Order. The State Stay at Home Order does not expressly address every type of business activity. To avoid confusion, this Local Order prohibits the following businesses and activities, whether or not allowed by the State Stay at Home Order:

    a. All swimming pools, spas, hot tubs, saunas, steam rooms and similarfacilities, except those located at a single-family residence, which shall be used only by members of a household residing at the single-family residence.

    b. All public and private campgrounds and recreational vehicle (RV) parks,except that persons who certify that their RV is their primary residence may be permitted to stay in the RV park. All persons residing in an RV shall comply with all orders otherwise applicable to residents.

  3. List of activities ordered to cease. The following activities are deemed non-essential and harmful to public health, and therefore are prohibited whether or not allowed by the State Stay at Home Order:

    a. Door-to-Door Solicitations. Door-to-door solicitations, whether for purposes of sales of goods or services, charitable contributions, signature-gathering or any other commercial or noncommercial purpose.

  4. Essential activities allowed. The State Stay at Home Order implicitly allows for persons to leave their places of residence to engage in essential activities, but does not expressly address that issue. The State Public Health Officer has issued guidance, primarily in the form of posted answers to “Frequently Asked Questions,” which are frequently amended or otherwise changed. For the sake of clarity and guidance to persons residing in the County, this section of the Local Order sets forth those activities that the County Health Officer deems to be essential and allowed. However, to the extent any activity described herein conflicts with and is more permissive than the State Stay at Home Order as it is currently written or as it may be amended, the State Stay at Home Order shall take precedence and shall be enforced.

a. Persons may leave their places of residence only to perform one of the following essential activities:

(1) To engage in activities or perform tasks essential to their health and safety, or to the health and safety of their family or household members (including pets), such as, by way of example, obtaining medical supplies or medication, visiting a health care professional or obtaining supplies needed to work from a place of residence.

(2) To obtain necessary services or supplies for themselves and theirfamily or household members, or to deliver those services or supplies to others, such as, by way of example, canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supplies, fresh meats, fish and poultry, and any other household consumer products, and products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operation of places of residence.

(3) To engage in funeral services, provided the following restrictions are observed:

(i) For indoor services, where the body of the deceased is present for viewing or in a closed casket, members of the deceased’s household and the relatives of the deceased within the second degree (including in-laws) may gather for the activity provided that Social Distancing Requirements are followed and that no more than five persons gather inside the facility at a single time. Stable groups of five persons (i.e., persons may not substitute in or out of the group) may rotate within the facility providing protocols are implemented to sanitize the facilities between each group visit.

(ii) For graveside services, members of the deceased’s household and the relatives of the deceased within the second degree (including in-laws) may gather for the activity provided that Social Distancing Requirements are followed and that no more than 10 persons gather.

(4) To engage in a wedding ceremony, provided that Social Distancing Requirements are followed to the greatest extent feasible and that no more than 10 persons (who need not be from the same household or living unit), in addition to the couple to be married and the officiant, gather in a stable group.

(5) To attend a gathering of any size to observe or participate in live or virtual presentations to the gathering, such as faith-based services, concerts, plays, political speeches, movies and similar activities, provided that all of the following protocols are followed:

(i) all activity must occur outdoors;
(ii) all persons attending the activity must be inside a motor vehicle occupied only bypersons from the same household or living unit; (iii) all motor vehicles at the gathering must maintain a distance of six feet from all other vehicles:
(iv) the motor vehicle windows must be closed at all times duringthe event;
(v) all persons must remain in the vehicle in which they arrived atall times during the event;
(vi) no restroom facilities shall be made available to persons at the facility during the event;
(vii) no tangible items of any kind, including food products, maybe transferred to persons in the motor vehicles;
(viii) notwithstanding the above, one or more persons, not exceeding five, may enter nearby buildings as necessary to putting on the presentation; and
(ix) all Social Distancing Requirements shall be complied with to the greatest extent feasible.

(6) To engage in outdoor activity, provided the persons comply withSocial Distancing Requirements, such as, by way of example, golfing, tennis, pickle-ball, walking, hiking, running, bicycling, pleasure driving and working around their places of residence, including gardening.

(i) To provide accommodations for persons who wish to golf as aform of outdoor activity, public and private golf courses may operate provided they strictly enforce Social Distancing Requirements and enforce the following additional protocols:

(a) Motorized carts are not allowed;
(b) No more than four golfers (who need not be from the same household or living unit), are allowed per group and each group must be stable (i.e., persons may not substitute in or out of the group);
(c) A distance of at least 30 feet shall be maintained between groups of golfers at all times;
(d) All ball washers shall be covered and flag pins shall be removed and the cup on each green shall be inverted or otherwise installed to eliminate high-frequency touchsurfaces on the greens and tees;
(e) Persons may use a driving range provided that range balls are properly sanitized before distribution to customers (stand-alone golf driving ranges may also operate);
(f) Practice putting greens shall remain closed;
(g) The “Pro Shop” or similar facility designed for the sale of golf-related equipment and supplies shall remain closed; and (h) The snack shop(s) and restaurant(s) shall remain closed.

(7) To otherwise carry out activities specifically permitted in thisLocal Order.

(8) To care for a family member or pet in another household.

(9) To prepare and present a live-stream or other virtual communication by an organization or association to its members, including worship services. Staff of organizations or associations (who need not be of the same household or living unit), including faith-based organizations, may gatherin a single space at the same time solely for the purpose of preparing and presenting live-stream or other virtual communications provided that the number of such staff is the fewest necessary to prepare and present those communications, but in no event in excess of 10 persons, and that Social Distancing Requirements are followed.

12. Compliance. The violation of any provision of this Local Order or the State Stay at Home Order constitutes a threat to public health and a public nuisance per se. In addition, pursuant to Government Code sections 26602 and 41601 and Health and Safety Code section 101029, the County Health Officer requests that the Sheriff and all chiefs of police in the County ensure compliance with and enforce this Local Order.

  1. Violation may constitute unfair competition. Any person that, after notice, operates, manages, maintains or occupies or continues to operate, manage, maintain or occupy, any business in violation of this Local Order or the State Stay at Home Order may, in addition or in the alternative to any other civil andcriminal penalties allowed by law, be subject to liability under the Unfair Competition Law (chapter 5 of part 2 of division 7 of the Business and Professions Code, commencing at section 17200), and subject to civil penalties and other relief as provided therein, for each act or practice in violation of this Local Order, the State Stay at Home Order, any predecessor order, or any of them.

  2. More restrictive provisions of local and State orders enforceable. This Local Order is issued to supplement the State Stay at Home Order, which establishes minimum requirements for individuals and businesses, as well as the Governor’s March 19, 2020 Executive Order N-33-20 directing California residents to follow the State Stay at Home Order. This Local Order adopts in certain respects more stringent restrictions addressing the particular facts and circumstances in this County, which are necessary to control the public health emergency as it is evolving within the County and the south coast region. Where a conflict exists between this Local Order and any State public health order, including the State Stay at Home Order, the more restrictive provision controls.

  3. Applicable to entire County. This Local Order applies to all persons in thecities and the entire unincorporated area of the County.

  4. Effective date and time; repeal of prior order. This Local Order shallbecome effective and operative at 11:59 p.m. on May 7, 2020, and will continue to be in effect until 11:59 p.m. on May 31, 2020, or until it is extended, rescinded, superseded or amended in writing by the County Health Officer. The County Health Officer order dated April 20, 2020, is herebly repealed and replaced with this Local Order, except that all prior violations of previous orders remain prosecutable, criminally or civilly. All prior closure or cease and desist orders directed at specified persons or businesses shall remain in force, but shall be reviewed by enforcement staff and rescinded if appropriate.

  5. Copies of Local Order. Copies of this Local Order shall promptly be: (1)made available at the County of Ventura Public Health Office, 2240 East Gonzalez Road, Suite 210, Oxnard, California, 93036; (2) posted on the Ventura County Public Health Department website (available at; and (3) provided to any member of the public requesting a copy of this Local Order.

18. Severability. If any provision of this Local Order or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held to be invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, the remainder of the Local Order, including the application of such part or provision to other persons or circumstances, shall not be affected and shall continue in full force and effect. To this end, the provisions of this Local Order are severable.

Robert Levin, M.D.
Ventura County Health Officer

Pursuant to Health and Safety Code section 120295 et seq., violation of or failure to comply with this Order is a misdemeanor punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both.

















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