BREAKING: VC Public Health Order requires people wear masks indoors after COVID-19 cases spike 40% locally

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Graphic from Ventura County Public Health on 


Starting Saturday, Aug. 21, just after midnight, a new Ventura County Public Health order goes into effect, requiring that people wear masks indoors in public settings, with limited exceptions, regardless of whether or not they have been vaccinated.

The requirement was posted by Ventura County Public Health on the county government website,  at 4:31 p.m. Aug. 20.

The order comes due to a 40% increase in COVID-19 cases in Ventura County — a rate of 28 cases per 100,000, according to Ventura County Public Health Officer Dr. Robert Levin.

On Aug. 20, Public Health reported 598 new COVID-19 cases in Ventura County, 3,995 new tests and the deaths of three women, ages 98, 76 and 87.

Businesses and other public entities have until 11:59 p.m. Monday, Aug. 23, to comply.

The order will be in effect until 11:59 p.m. Sept. 19, or until it is extended, rescinded, superseded, or amended by the Public Health Officer, according to the announcement. “I expect that this will have a beneficial effect on the increase in COVID-19 infections we are seeing,” Levin said in a written statement.

The order directs that face coverings must be worn over the mouth and nose — regardless of vaccination status — in all indoor public settings, venues, gatherings, and workplaces, including but not limited to offices, retail stores, restaurants and bars, theaters, family entertainment centers, conference and event centers, and government offices serving the public.

Individuals, businesses, venue operators, hosts, and others responsible for the operation of indoor public settings must:

• Require all patrons to wear face coverings for all indoor settings, regardless of their vaccination status; and

• Post clearly visible and easy-to-read signage at all entry points for indoor settings to communicate the masking requirements to all patrons. Signage is provided by Ventura County Public Health at .

Health officials are concerned by the substantial levels of increased community transmission, especially among unvaccinated people. In part, this is due to the widespread COVID-19 delta variant, which is substantially more transmissible than previous forms of the virus. Recent information from the Centers for Disease Control indicates that even fully vaccinated individuals can spread the delta variant to others, so indoor use of face coverings provides an important added layer of protection.

"Masking indoors must again become a normal practice by all, regardless of vaccination status, so that we can stop the trends and level of transmission we are currently seeing," said Levin. "We continue to urge all eligible residents to get vaccinated to protect themselves and their family and friends. Becoming fully vaccinated against COVID-19 remains the best protective action that people can take. It significantly reduces the risk of infection and, for the small number of people that get infected, it reduces the risk of hospitalization and death once you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19."

For more information, visit the county news channel at: