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COVID-19 UPDATE FOR VENTURA COUNTY

Sunday January 24, 2021

LINKS TO OFFICIAL INFORMATION

MAIN LINK FOR CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION REGARDING TESTING, VACCINATIONS, AND OTHER ISSUES GO TO https://www.venturacountyrecovers.org/  

MAIN LINK FOR CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION REGARDING TESTING, VACCINATIONS, AND OTHER ISSUES GO TO https://www.venturacountyrecovers.org/   

 

All COVID-19 vaccine appointments are now full. Once more vaccines are received more appointments will be made available. No new appointments available this weekend.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR UPDATES TO BE NOTIFIED WHEN VACCINE APPOINTMENTS ARE OPEN.

 

Vaccine Update: Appointments are full at this time. 

All appointments are filled this week.
More appointments will be opened next week. A notice will be sent when they open up.
We have to wait each week on the amount of vaccines provided to the County from the State and then more appointments can be made. All vaccines coming in are going out to the people in Phase 1A and 75 and older. We have more eligible people wanting the vaccine than vaccines available.
It will take months to vaccinate all people. Vaccine supply is the biggest barrier to making this effort move more quickly. This is impacting Counties throughout the State.
Once appointments are opened you can register on the Ventura County Recovers website at the following link:
You can also call our hotline to make an appointment next week. Currently, the hotline has a recording saying all appointments are full. Once more appointments are open an operator will be able to help callers make appointments. The phone number is: 805-477-7151.

  

COVID-19 Update for Ventura County, Friday, January 22, 2021

   (The figures below by Ventura County will not be updated until Monday.  Ventura County does not do updates on weekends)

     There were 285 new cases of coronavirus reported Friday.

     Active cases currently under quarantine 5185.

     The total number of cases since March...63,893. 

     In 58,201 of those cases, the people have recovered. 

     There were 433 patients with the virus in Ventura County hospitals Friday, 83 of them in Intensive Care.

     There were 16 new deaths reported Friday to bring the total to 507.

     Those 16 new deaths involved 10 men and six women ranging in age from 30 to 94.

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   "Comorbidity information is not reported out of respect for those that have lost their loved ones. Many people that have passed away have had mild comorbidity. Had they not become infected with COVID-19 they still had a long life expectancy with their mild comorbidity. Examples of mild comorbidity include things like pre-diabetes, mild obesity, mild hypertension, or other controlled medical conditions that would have still allowed them to live longer lives."

 

THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA SAID TUESDAY, DECEMBER 29, 2020, THAT THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA REGION, WHICH INCLUDES VENTURA COUNTY, HAS NOT MET THE CRITERIA TO HAVE THE DECEMBER 6TH STAY-AT-HOME ORDER LIFTED.  THE REGION WILL REMAIN UNDER THAT ORDER (SHOWN BELOW) FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE.   

 

 

THE FOLLOWING IS THE NEWS RELEASE FROM THE COUNTY OF VENTURA REGARDING THE GOVERNOR'S NEW STAY AT HOME ORDER EFFECTIVE SUNDAY NIGHT AT MIDNIGHT, DECEMBER 6TH

December 5, 2020

State’s Stay Home Order Triggered in Southern California Region, Effective December 6, Midnight

Ventura, CA - The State of California’s Stay Home Order will go into effect on Sunday, December 6 at midnight in Ventura County and in all Counties in Southern California, after the Southern California Region's hospital ICU capacity dropped below 15%. The order closes many businesses and activities and urges people to stay at home whenever possible.

The California Department of Public Health reported on Friday evening that Southern California's ICU capacity dropped to 13.1%, triggering the Stay Home Order.

The order requires bars, wineries, nail salons, hair salons and barbershops, and other personal care services to close. Private gatherings of any size are prohibited. Restaurants can stay open for takeout and delivery, but they have to shut down both indoor and outdoor dining.

The Southern California Region Ventura County was placed in has, by itself, more than half the State’s total population. The region includes 11 counties. The County is urging the Governor to consider smaller, more targeted regions. The County, along with 58 Counties throughout the State, are also urging the Governor to consider additional, immediate assistance for impacted workers, families and businesses. The County of Ventura will continue to advocate and engage with the State on behalf of our County on a regular basis.

Schools opened while Ventura County was in the purple tier can stay open. K-6 schools that were given a waiver to reopen will be allowed to stay open. Retail stores will be allowed to stay open at 20% capacity.

Additionally, all non-essential travel is temporarily restricted statewide. Hotels and motels are now restricted to guests traveling for an essential reason.

Ventura County and all Counties in the Southern California Region are required by the State to stay under lockdown for at least three weeks. After that, state health officials will evaluate ICU capacity and transmission rates to project at least four weeks into the future to determine if the stay home order can be lifted.

All Ventura County residents are further urged to help slow the spread by wearing a mask, social distancing, and not gathering during this critical time. “Given the significant increase we have been experiencing in our county with COVID-19 with cases, test positivity, and hospitalizations, this order is the only remaining measure to flatten the curve as soon as possible,” said Rigoberto Vargas, Ventura County Public Health Director.

“Since it will take several weeks for these additional restrictions to slow in particular the very concerning rising hospitalizations, collectively and as the strong community that Ventura County is known for, I urge every resident and sector to support the measure in this order so that we can once and for all, given also the upcoming COVID-19 vaccine, get this virus under control. We will then be able to return to the path toward fully opening our business, schools, and other sectors,” added Vargas.

The following activities and sectors must close by midnight on Sunday, December 6:


Indoor playgrounds
Indoor recreational facilities
Hair salons and barbershops
Personal care services
Museums, zoos, and aquariums
Movie theaters
Wineries
Bars, breweries, and distilleries
Family entertainment centers
Cardrooms and satellite wagering
Limited services
Live audience sports
Amusement parks

Other sectors that will be allowed to stay open when operating remotely is not possible include:

Critical Infrastructure
Schools that are already open for in-person learning
Non-urgent medical and dental care
Childcare and pre-K

The following sectors will have additional modifications in addition to 100% masking and physical distancing:

• Outdoor recreational facilities: Allow outdoor operation only without any food, drink or alcohol sales. Additionally, overnight stays at campgrounds will not be permitted.
• Retail: Allow indoor operation at 20% capacity with entrance metering and no eating or drinking in the stores. Additionally, special hours should be instituted for seniors and others with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems.
• Shopping centers: Allow indoor operation at 20% capacity with entrance metering and no eating or drinking in the stores. Additionally, special hours should be instituted for seniors and others with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems.
• Hotels and lodging: Allow to open for critical infrastructure support only.
• Restaurants: Allow only for take-out, pick-up, or delivery. No indoor or outdoor dining.
• Offices: Allow remote only except for critical infrastructure sectors where remote working is not possible.
• Places of worship and political expression: Allow outdoor services only.
• Entertainment production including professional sports: Allow operation without live audiences. Additionally, testing protocol and “bubbles” are highly encouraged.

More information about the Stay Home Order can be found at: https://covid19.ca.gov/stay-home-except-for-essential-needs/. Local information at www.venturacountyrecovers.org.

 

 

COVID-19 NEWS RELEASES 

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Governor Newsom Signs Executive Order in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic  

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today signed an executive order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, extending the validity of medical cannabis identification cards that would otherwise have expired.

 

The text of the Governor’s executive order can be found here and a copy can be found here.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 7, 2021

DMV Suspends Behind-the-Wheel Driving Tests Through January

Sacramento – The California Department of Motor Vehicles will continue its temporary suspension of behind-the-wheel driving tests until at least February 1. The DMV previously suspended the tests until January 11. The DMV is taking this step for the health and safety of customers and employees during the ongoing statewide surge in COVID-19 cases.

Customers with scheduled appointments through January 29 will be notified their tests are postponed. The DMV will automatically reschedule the tests at a later date.

In-vehicle testing is a requirement for first-time driver’s license holders and commercial license applicants. The temporary suspension includes commercial and noncommercial tests, but does not apply to motorcycle drive tests, which can be conducted at a safe distance.

The DMV previously extended eligible permits with expiration dates through May 31, 2021, for six months from the date of expiration, or to a date 24 months from the date of application, whichever is earlier. This automatic extension requires no paperwork and gives student drivers more time during the COVID-19 pandemic to complete the prerequisites needed for a provisional license.

In accordance with updated guidance from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the DMV is issuing an extension through February 28, 2021, to all commercial driver’s licenses, commercial learner’s permits, and endorsements expiring between March 2020 and February 28, 2021. Commercial drivers with current, valid medical certifications that expire on or after September 1, 2020, through February 28, 2021, have an extension until February 28, 2021, to obtain a new certification.

To protect customers and employees, the DMV requires everyone who enters DMV offices to wear a face covering, physically distance, and have their temperature checked. To best serve customers and maintain appropriate distance, the number of people allowed in the office is limited, chairs are appropriately spaced and plexiglass has been installed.

Safety measures in place for when behind-the-wheel tests resume include required face coverings, temperature checks, cracked windows for increased air circulation, and seat covers.

While DMV offices remain open to serve the public, the DMV continues to encourage all customers to use its online services, expanded virtual services and other service channels to complete transactions, including eligible driver’s license and vehicle registration renewals. Nearly all Californians can now renew their driver’s license online – even if the renewal notice states an office visit is required. Customers can also use the Service Advisor on the DMV website to learn their options to complete DMV tasks.

 

 

Governor Newsom Announces Golden State Stimulus, a Budget Proposal to Help Low-Income Californians through $600 Rapid Cash Payments, and Calls for Extension of Eviction Moratorium

Golden State Stimulus $600 rapid cash support will go to recipients of the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit in 2019, as well as those filing with Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers this year who meet the eligibility criteria

 

Governor also proposes extending the state’s eviction moratorium and expediting distribution of California’s $2.6 billion share of federal rental assistance to assist low-income tenants

 

SACRAMENTO – As millions of Californians struggle to make ends meet as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Gavin Newsom today announced two immediate action items in his 2021-22 State Budget proposal to help low-income Californians.

 

First, the Golden State Stimulus would provide a $600 rapid cash support directly to roughly four million low-income Californians who, coupled with federal stimulus, could receive at least $1,200 of direct relief. The state’s stimulus will also reach low-income Californians who are excluded from the federal stimulus, like undocumented households that file taxes with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), including parents with U.S. citizen children.

 

Second, the Governor is calling for immediate action to protect more Californians from eviction by extending critical eviction protections enacted by AB 3088 and ensuring that California’s $2.6 billion shares of federal rental assistance is distributed according to greatest need and with accountability.

 

“Through the Golden State Stimulus, Californians who have been impacted by this pandemic will get help to provide for their families and keep a roof over their heads,” said Governor Newsom. “This plan will provide relief for Californians in need by distributing $600 rapid cash support – for some, at least $1,200 when coupled with federal relief – and extend the eviction moratorium.”

 

Golden State Stimulus

 

The COVID-19 pandemic brought immediate and unprecedented financial challenges to working families that continue to struggle as the country and state experience the most intense surge of the virus. The Golden State Stimulus would refund $600 to all 2019 taxpayers who received a California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) in 2020, as well as to 2020 taxpayers with Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) who are eligible for and receive the CalEITC in 2021. Californians with annual incomes of $30,000 or less may be eligible for the CalEITC. Focusing on CalEITC recipients allows for a timely identification of and distribution to the population that likely started 2020 with few financial resources and disproportionately lost their jobs or work hours during the pandemic. The payments would be sent out to tax year 2019 CalEITC recipients in February and March 2021. ITIN taxpayers, who are newly eligible for the CalEITC, would receive the additional tax refund after they file their 2020 tax return, typically in February through April of 2021. The timing of these refunds is meant to immediately help low-income households with expenses like food and rent. Last year, nearly 3.9 million CalEITC tax returns were filed, and the program put $1.1 billion back in the pockets of hardworking Californians.

 

Eviction Moratorium Extension

 

In August, the Governor and Legislature worked in partnership to enact AB 3088 – the nation’s strongest statewide eviction protections. While that protection was critical as a public health measure to keep people housed during the worst of the pandemic, it was temporary – without immediate action, the moratorium expires on January 31st.

 

After months of advocacy, California now has significant help with $2.6 billion in federal stimulus money, targeted to stabilize the lowest-income at-risk renters and small property owners.

 

The Governor is proposing that the state quickly and accountably deploy all $2.6 billion in federal renter relief as early action – $1.4 billion of which is allocated directly to the state and $1.2 billion of which is allocated to entitlement jurisdictions – all targeting low-income California households, while helping stabilize small property owners who are also struggling. This $2.6 billion, combined with hundreds of millions in other investments through the National Mortgage Settlement and tenant legal defense, and strengthened foreclosure protections, will keep as many people housed as possible and help get California’s economy back on its feet. The Governor is also proposing that the AB 3088 eviction moratorium be extended.

 

Under this proposal, California renters who are experiencing financial hardship related to the COVID-19 pandemic and pay at least 25 percent of their monthly rent cannot be evicted for unpaid rent.

 

“The Golden State stimulus is needed now more than ever. Millions of working families are on the ropes, barely hanging on during this pandemic-induced recession. This additional $600 in rapid cash relief will put food on the table for millions of vulnerable Californians, help pay rent and these funds will be a shot in the arm for our economy. The EITC has been a priority for the Senate for many years now and we look forward to partnering with the Governor to get these dollars into the pockets of struggling families as quickly as possible,” said Senator Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg).

 

“Too many families have been financially devastated by this pandemic including countless families in the Inland Empire. We can and we must do more to provide assistance to get them through this difficult time, particularly those most impacted. The Golden State Stimulus will put $600 into the pockets of those who need it the most, and when added to federal relief, could mean $1200 in quick support for low-income Californians. We are proud to collaborate with the Governor on this important proposal,” said Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes (D-San Bernardino).

 

Today’s announcement builds on the Governor’s Equitable Recovery for California’s Businesses and Jobs plan, the business and workforce recovery elements of his 2021-22 State Budget that will help California through the COVID-19 pandemic and advance an equitable, broad-based recovery with more than $4.5 billion in investments.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented challenges to California. However, prudent fiscal management in the past and present has allowed the state to provide ongoing support to impacted Californians where they need it most.

 

Governor Newsom to Propose $4.5 Billion for Equitable Recovery for California’s Businesses and Jobs in 2021 Budget 

Calls for immediate action to support small businesses, including $575 million on top of the $500 million previously allocated to California’s Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant, bringing total support to more than $1 billion

 

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today previewed his Equitable Recovery for California’s Businesses and Jobs plan, the business and workforce recovery elements of his 2021-22 State Budget that will help California through the COVID-19 pandemic and advance an equitable, broad-based recovery.

 

Watch the Governor provide a brief overview of his Equitable Recovery for California’s Businesses and Jobs plan here.

 

Building on actions the state has taken to support California’s businesses throughout the pandemic, including emergency aid and regulatory relief, these proposals double down on the Newsom Administration’s commitment to rebuilding the economy, with investments across sectors and benefits for businesses of all sizes.

 

Notably, the Budget proposes an immediate action to approve $575 million more for California’s small businesses, the backbone of the state’s economy, as they work to adapt their operations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This immediate action proposal is on top of the initial $500 million allocated in partnership with the Legislature to the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant, bringing the total for California’s small businesses to more than $1 billion.

 

“California’s economy is known the world over for our innovation, inclusion and resilience. That spirit will carry us through this pandemic and beyond,” said Governor Newsom. “These budget proposals reflect our commitment to an equitable, broad-based recovery that ensures California remains the best place to start and grow a business – and where all Californians have an opportunity to reach their dreams. I look forward to continuing to partner with the Legislature to advance these priorities so our economy can emerge stronger, fairer and more prosperous than before.”

 

The COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented challenges to California. However, prudent fiscal management in the past and present has allowed California to provide ongoing support to impacted Californians where they need it most.

 

Building on supports for California businesses before, during and through the pandemic, the Governor today previewed the following budget proposals:

 

Small Business Grants

 

Prior to the pandemic, small businesses created two-thirds of new jobs and employed nearly half of all private-sector employees. California is home to 4.1 million small businesses that employ nearly half of the state’s total workforce. To help keep these businesses afloat, the Governor is proposing a total of $1.075 billion for the State’s Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program.

 

To put money into the hands of the most impacted small businesses as quickly as possible, the Governor has proposed immediate legislative action on $575 million in additional grants. The investment will add to the initial $500 million allocation announced in November. The Program offers grants up to $25,000 to micro and small businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic. These grants will be distributed across the state, with priority given to regions and industries impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, disadvantaged communities and underserved small business groups.

 

The $575 million Early Action Budget proposal includes $25 million for small cultural institutions, such as museums and art galleries, that have been constrained by the pandemic in their ability to educate the community and remain financially viable.

 

California Jobs Initiative

 

The Budget also proposes sustained investments to preserve California’s competitiveness. The California Jobs Initiative, a $777.5 million proposal, focuses on job creation and retention, regional development, small businesses and climate innovation, including increased funding for: 

 

  • California Competes Tax Credit (CalCompetes), which incentivizes businesses to locate in California to stay, grow and create quality full-time jobs in the state and creates a new CalCompetes grant program to support job creation and investments in infrastructure ($430 million)
  • Extended Main Street Small Business Tax Credit to encourage hiring new employees and rehiring former employees ($100 million).
    • As of January 4, almost 9,000 taxpayers had reserved over $54 million of the existing credit.
  • Mitigating the SALT deduction limitation for S-corporation shareholders
  • The California Dream Fund to seed entrepreneurship and small business creation in underserved communities ($35 million)
  • Additional funds for the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank’s (IBank) Small Business Finance Center to provide small business loan and disaster loan guarantees ($50 million which will be leveraged to provide $250 million in loans) and for the California Rebuilding Fund ($50 million.)
  • Expanded sales tax exclusions through the Treasurer’s Office to reduce the cost of manufacturing equipment in order to promote innovation and meet the state’s climate goals ($100 million)

 

This funding also includes $12.5 million allocated, in partnership with the Legislature, in late 2020 to fully capitalize the California Rebuilding Fund to support $125 million low-interest loans to underserved businesses.

 

Workforce Development

 

The Budget proposes one-time and ongoing investments totaling $353 million to support California’s workers as they adapt to changes in the economy brought about by COVID-19. These investments lift up proven workforce development strategies like apprenticeship and High-Road Training Partnerships and encourage greater collaboration and coordination among California’s institutions of higher learning and local workforce partners. Demand-driven workforce programs can help California train the workforce of the future in key sectors including health care and technology. 

 

Fee Waivers

 

The Budget proposes $70.6 million for fee waivers to individuals and businesses most impacted by the pandemic – including barbers, cosmetologists, manicurists, bars and restaurants. These waivers will assist those who have not been able to operate or are operating at reduced capacity during the pandemic.

 

Deferred Maintenance

 

In recognition of the job-creating potential of infrastructure projects on state-owned properties, the Budget includes a $300 million one-time General Fund for the most critical statewide deferred maintenance, including greening of state infrastructure. This proposal will help create jobs in California while achieving our state’s climate goals. Projects include the installation of electric vehicle charging stations at state-owned facilities.

 

Housing

 

Through the Infill Infrastructure Grant (IIG) Program, this Budget proposes $500 million to create jobs and long-term housing development to unlock more than 7,500 new permanently affordable homes for Californians. IIG grants to local governments and developers bring the cost down for new housing by defraying costs for things like sewers, roads and site preparation, all while putting thousands of people to work in good jobs building this housing-related infrastructure. $250 million of these funds are proposed for early action.

 

Zero-Emission Vehicles and Zero-Emission Vehicle Infrastructure

 

Building on California’s historic commitment to requiring sales of all new passenger vehicles to be zero-emission by 2035, this Budget proposes an additional $1.5 billion investment to accelerate our state’s progress toward these goals while creating jobs. The proposal will support jobs and economic growth and provide air quality benefits and support for low-income Californians to purchase cleaner vehicles. Funds will support purchases of clean trucks, buses and off-road freight equipment and Clean Cars 4 All programs. It will also support job-creating construction of electric charging and hydrogen fueling stations necessary to accelerate zero-emission vehicle adoption. The Budget proposal will leverage additional private sector capital to build the necessary infrastructure and create jobs to support California’s recovery.

 

These 2021-22 Budget proposals build on the Newsom Administration’s work to support California’s businesses and workers. Among many actions, the Administration waived the $800 minimum franchise tax – often a costly barrier for start-up businesses – for the first year of operation. The Administration in November also extended up to billions in immediate, temporary tax relief to businesses impacted by COVID-19 by extending deadlines for paying sales taxes for smaller businesses and expanding interest-free payment options for larger businesses particularly affected by significant restrictions on operations due to COVID-19.

 

Additionally, the Administration built and funded the Great Plates Delivered program, a first-in-the-nation program that partners with local businesses to deliver nutritious meals to older Californians and other adults at high risk from COVID-19, which has supported more than 9,000 jobs per week on average.

CALIFORNIA SMALL BUSINESS COVID-19 RELIEF

GRANT PROGRAM
DEADLINE EXTENSION - JANUARY 13, 2021 AT 11:59 PM
The State of California has successfully received thousands of completed applications and will extend the closing date to January 13, 2021, to keep the portal open for those of you still in process and for new applicants to ensure fair and equitable opportunities for California's small business community.
If you experienced disruptions in the application process, please note that you will be notified by email when to log in to complete your unfinished application or upload requested documents. Please do not fill out a new application as this can delay consideration.
NEW DATES AND DEADLINES:
Start a new application:
December 30, 2020 – January 13, 2021, at 11:59 pm
Update and upload documents for in-process applications:
January 6, 2021 – January 13, 2021 at 11:59 pm
The new closing date for Round 1:
January 13, 2021 at 11:59 pm
As a reminder, this is NOT a first-come, first-serve application process or rolling approval process - all eligible applicants will be considered for the grant at the close of Round 1 on January 13, 2021 at 11:59 pm and not before.
For detailed information on the application process with step-by-step instructions please review the CA Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Application guides at CaReliefGrant.com. Scroll down on the homepage to view the "All Businesses Application Guide" or the "Non-Profit Application Guide."
EDC SBDC COVID-19 BUSINESS RESOURCES WEBINAR
Additionally, the EDC SBDC will host a webinar this Friday, January 8th, 2021 at 12:00 pm to discuss the CA Business Grant and new CARE’s Act Funding. Please join us if you have questions regarding these new benefits. Register early! Seating is limited. 
NEED ADDITIONAL ASSISTANCE?
As always, the EDC is able to assist answer questions, provide financial through our loan program and consulting services. If you have questions, call 805.409.9159 (ENGLISH) or 805.309.5874 (SPANISH) to schedule an appointment with a business advisor and visit our resource page for list of current assistance available.
FIRST APPLICATION WINDOW CLOSES JANUARY 13, 2021 AT 11:59 PM
Round 2 will be announced in the near future.

County of Ventura Providing 91% of CARES Funding to Community

Congressional Relief Bill to provide badly needed unemployment and business support

 

Ventura, CA –The COVID-19 pandemic has caused severe economic and health impacts in our community. Local revenues have dropped while, at the same time, there has been an increased need for health, social and business services. Over the past ten months of response the County of Ventura has been committed to providing local assistance directly to the community. $120 million has been provided in local assistance. This support will continue into the new year.

 

“Our community members and businesses continue to struggle from the impacts of the pandemic. Our Board has been committed to supporting our community throughout the response efforts and will continue to come along side to meet the needs into the new year,” said County Executive Officer Mike Powers. “The new Congressional COVID Relief Bill provides badly needed support for unemployment and businesses. Though the bill lacks funding for local government, the County has budgeted to allow business and rental support programs to continue to be developed. 

The County of Ventura’s COVID-19 Response Spending Plan thru March 31, 2021 is $206 million. This includes funding for the following areas:

 

Local Assistance $120 million: Business Assistance (additional $20 million assistance program), Rental Assistance, Homeless Support, Food Support, Farmworker Assistance, Hospital Assistance, City Assistance, Senior Support
Testing $58 million
Vaccine Distribution, PPE, Supplies and Equipment $9 million
County Operations $19 million

“The County of Ventura’s strong fiscal position allowed us to act quickly to provide significant services and supplies in response to the pandemic. Available reserves were used to quickly ramp up supportive programs such as providing housing and meals to at risk populations, testing and tracing resources and PPE and hospital surge capacity preparation,” said County Chief Financial Officer Kaye Mand.

 

Local assistance has included funding for Project Roomkey and Project Homekey, senior nutrition and food delivery programs, rental assistance program, business assistance program, city support, Food Share support, Farmworker Assistance and support for local non-profit hospitals.

 

Congress has passed $900 billion coronavirus relief plan that includes $300 weekly unemployment supplement, $600 direct payments, nearly $300 billion in Paycheck Protection Program loans and $69 billion for testing and vaccine distribution.

 

www.venturacountyrecovers.org

 

Governor Newsom Signs Executive Order on Actions in Response to COVID-19

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today issued an executive order addressing a variety of issues in response to the pandemic, including extending the availability of housing for migrant agricultural workers, providing a 90-day extension on tax returns and tax payments for small businesses and updating Cal/OSHA requirements related to quarantine guidelines. 

 

The order allows migrant farm labor centers managed by the Department of Housing and Community Development to continue housing agricultural workers and their families beyond the statutory occupancy period, which for several would be this month. It also suspends the requirement that these workers reside outside of a 50-mile radius from the migrant farm labor center for three months of the preceding six months.  

 

The order allows the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) to offer a 90-day extension for tax returns and tax payments for all businesses filing a return for less than $1 million in taxes. Small businesses will have until the end of July to file their first-quarter returns.  

 

In addition, the order updates the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) emergency temporary standard in keeping with new guidance from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) related to quarantine guidelines. 

 

The text of the Governor’s executive order can be found here and a copy can be found here

 

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DMV Temporarily Halts Behind-the-Wheel Driving Tests

Offices remain open. Customers encouraged to go online first.

Sacramento – The California Department of Motor Vehicles is temporarily suspending behind-the-wheel driving tests for at least two weeks beginning December 14. The DMV is taking this step for the health and safety of customers and employees during the current statewide surge in COVID-19 cases.

“Behind-the-wheel drive tests require two people to share space in one vehicle and – while we have made numerous changes to safeguard the testing process – the current surge in COVID-19 cases presents increased risk to both parties,” said DMV Director Steve Gordon. “While our field offices remain open to serve the public, we hope customers will first go online to take care of their DMV needs.”

In-vehicle testing is a requirement for first-time driver’s license holders and commercial license applicants. The temporary suspension includes commercial and noncommercial tests but does not apply to motorcycle drive tests, which can be conducted at a safe distance.

Customers with scheduled appointments in the next two weeks will be notified their tests are canceled. The DMV will automatically reschedule the tests at a later date.

DMV drive test examiners will be redirected to assist with other customer transactions.

The DMV previously suspended drive tests for three months beginning in mid-March. The DMV resumed administering behind-the-wheel tests in June with safety protocols in place, including required face coverings, temperature checks, cracked windows for increased air circulation and seat covers.

Californians who do not have an urgent need to go to a DMV field office should delay their visit, including those interested in applying for a REAL ID. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has announced that the REAL ID enforcement date is October 1, 2021, and customers who want a REAL ID will have an opportunity to apply at a later date.

To protect customers and employees, the DMV requires everyone who enters the DMV to wear a face covering, physically distance and have their temperature checked. To best serve customers and maintain appropriate distance, the number of people allowed in the office is limited, chairs are appropriately spaced and plexiglass has been installed.

The DMV continues to recommend that customers use its online services, expanded virtual services and other service channels to complete transactions including eligible driver’s license and vehicle registration renewals. Nearly all Californians can now renew their driver’s license online – even if the renewal notice states an office visit is required. Customers can also use the Service Advisor on the DMV website to learn their options to complete DMV tasks.

 

Seniors Can Now Renew Their Driver’s License Online

No office visit required for eligible drivers 70 and older until further notice
Sacramento – The California Department of Motor Vehicles is now offering Californians who are 70 and older the option to renew their noncommercial driver’s license online. Licenses that expire beginning March 1, 2020, and throughout the COVID-19 emergency are eligible, including REAL ID renewals. A mail-in option will be available in the coming weeks. Most drivers 69 and younger can also renew at dmv.ca.gov – even if their renewal notice states they must come to an office.

The alternative to an in-person renewal follows Governor Gavin Newsom’s recent Executive Order that temporarily waives California law requiring drivers age 70 and older to visit a DMV field office to renew their license. The DMV will make this option available during California’s State of Emergency or until the order is modified.

The DMV previously provided yearlong extensions to senior drivers with noncommercial licenses expiring in March through December 2020. Those who received the extensions are eligible to renew online.

Commercial licenses, including those for drivers 70 and older, expiring between March and December are extended through December 2020, to align with federal guidelines.

Summary of California driver’s license extensions

 

Expiration month

Status

Age 70 & older (noncommercial)

 

Age 69 & younger (noncommercial)

Beginning March 2020

Expanded eligibility to renew online or by mail for licenses expiring during the emergency

Commercial (all types, all ages)

March-December 2020

Extended to December 31, 2020

Learner’s permits (noncommercial)

March 2020-May 2021

Extended six months or to a date 24 months from the date of application

The ability for senior drivers to renew online is the latest action to help Californians avoid or delay a DMV office visit during the COVID-19 pandemic. The DMV continues to streamline its processes to limit the time customers spend at an office. Customers applying for a REAL ID are encouraged to fill out the online application and upload the required documents before they come to the office for expedited service.

The DMV recommends that customers use its online services, expanded virtual services and other service channels to complete transactions, including eligible driver’s license and vehicle registration renewals. Customers can use the Service Advisor on the DMV website to learn their options to complete DMV tasks.

Information video: https://youtu.be/sUb8Qzdy-zI

 

 

 

Counties of Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Seek to Exit State’s Large Southern California Region Under the Stay Home Order to Create Smaller Central Coast Region

 

Ventura, CA – The County of Ventura, Santa Barbara County and San Luis Obispo County will be seeking State approval to separate from the large Southern California Region under the State’s Stay Home Order to create a smaller tri-county Central Coast Region. The Counties will be submitting a unified request for the smaller regional approach if the tri-county ICU capacity exceeds 15% in the next three weeks. At that time the Counties will request to be assessed based on the tri-county ICU capacity and not the Southern California Regional ICU capacity.

 

“A smaller regional approach is important for our community members and struggling businesses. We believe it’s reasonable to have the Central Coast as one region instead of including our County with over half the State’s population in the current Southern California Region,” said County Executive Officer Mike Powers. “This is a critical time to work together to bring the numbers down, save lives and save businesses. Allowing our local tri-counties to meet the State’s metrics collectively provides a better opportunity for our Central Coast Region to move forward safely.”

 

Currently, the Southern California Region includes more than 23.1 million people and 11 Counties. The smaller Central Coast Region would include approximately 1.5 million people.

 

The high prevalence of disease in the large southern California counties could prevent the three counties from exiting the Regional Stay At Home Order under the current Southern California Regional approach.  Being kept in the Southern California Region any longer could cause preventable educational and economic hardships to communities in the Central Coast Region. 

 

Allowing this change will not have a significant impact on the ICU availability rates of the remaining counties in the Southern California Region, given their much larger size and populations; yet it will have a tremendous impact on the Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo communities.  This change would neither affect the tri-county commitment to assist other counties in the Southern California region or elsewhere during this critical time.

 

More information about the Stay Home Order can be found at: https://covid19.ca.gov/stay-home-except-for-essential-needs/. Local information at www.venturacountyrecovers.org.

 

 

STAY AT HOME ORDER

December 5, 2020

State’s Stay Home Order Triggered in Southern California Region, Effective December 6, Midnight

Ventura, CA - The State of California’s Stay Home Order will go into effect on Sunday, December 6 at midnight in Ventura County and in all Counties in Southern California, after the Southern California Region's hospital ICU capacity dropped below 15%. The order closes many businesses and activities and urges people to stay at home whenever possible.

The California Department of Public Health reported on Friday evening that Southern California's ICU capacity dropped to 13.1%, triggering the Stay Home Order.

The order requires bars, wineries, nail salons, hair salons and barbershops, and other personal care services to close. Private gatherings of any size are prohibited. Restaurants can stay open for takeout and delivery, but they have to shut down both indoor and outdoor dining.

The Southern California Region Ventura County was placed in has, by itself, more than half the State’s total population. The region includes 11 counties. The County is urging the Governor to consider smaller, more targeted regions. The County, along with 58 Counties throughout the State, are also urging the Governor to consider additional, immediate assistance for impacted workers, families and businesses. The County of Ventura will continue to advocate and engage with the State on behalf of our County on a regular basis.

Schools opened while Ventura County was in the purple tier can stay open. K-6 schools that were given a waiver to reopen will be allowed to stay open. Retail stores will be allowed to stay open at 20% capacity.

Additionally, all non-essential travel is temporarily restricted statewide. Hotels and motels are now restricted to guests traveling for an essential reason.

Ventura County and all Counties in the Southern California Region are required by the State to stay under the lockdown for at least three weeks. After that, state health officials will evaluate ICU capacity and transmission rates to project at least four weeks into the future to determine if the stay home order can be lifted.

All Ventura County residents are further urged to help slow the spread by wearing a mask, social distancing and not gathering during this critical time. “Given the significant increase we have been experiencing in our county with COVID-19 with cases, test positivity, and hospitalizations, this order is the only remaining measure to flatten the curve as soon as possible,” said Rigoberto Vargas, Ventura County Public Health Director.

“Since it will take several weeks for these additional restrictions to slow in particular the very concerning rising hospitalizations, collectively and as the strong community that Ventura County is known for, I urge every resident and sector to support the measure in this order so that we can once and for all, given also the upcoming COVID-19 vaccine, get this virus under control. We will then be able to return to the path toward fully opening our business, schools and other sectors,” added Vargas.

The following activities and sectors must close by midnight on Sunday, December 6:


Indoor and outdoor playgrounds
Indoor recreational facilities
Hair salons and barbershops
Personal care services
Museums, zoos, and aquariums
Movie theaters
Wineries
Bars, breweries and distilleries
Family entertainment centers
Cardrooms and satellite wagering
Limited services
Live audience sports
Amusement parks

Other sectors that will be allowed to stay open when operating remotely is not possible include:

Critical Infrastructure
Schools that are already open for in-person learning
Non-urgent medical and dental care
Childcare and pre-K

The following sectors will have additional modifications in addition to 100% masking and physical distancing:

• Outdoor recreational facilities: Allow outdoor operation only without any food, drink or alcohol sales. Additionally, overnight stays at campgrounds will not be permitted.
• Retail: Allow indoor operation at 20% capacity with entrance metering and no eating or drinking in the stores. Additionally, special hours should be instituted for seniors and others with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems.
• Shopping centers: Allow indoor operation at 20% capacity with entrance metering and no eating or drinking in the stores. Additionally, special hours should be instituted for seniors and others with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems.
• Hotels and lodging: Allow to open for critical infrastructure support only.
• Restaurants: Allow only for take-out, pick-up, or delivery. No indoor or outdoor dining.
• Offices: Allow remote only except for critical infrastructure sectors where remote working is not possible.
• Places of worship and political expression: Allow outdoor services only.
• Entertainment production including professional sports: Allow operation without live audiences. Additionally, testing protocol and “bubbles” are highly encouraged.

More information about the Stay Home Order can be found at: https://covid19.ca.gov/stay-home-except-for-essential-needs/. Local information at www.venturacountyrecovers.org.

 

State announces Ventura County among 41 Counties moved back to Purple Tier

Community encouraged to get tested, wear masks social distance and avoid gatherings to slow the spread

 

Ventura, CA - Today, the State of California announced new COVID-19 Tier assignments for counties. Due to increasing case rates, Ventura County and 40 other counties in the State will move back to the more restrictive Tier 1 Purple. Businesses that are impacted by this are asked to make their operational modifications by midnight November 17, 2020.

 

“Community members have taken action. Our average number of tests per day per 100,000 population was in the 200s and has increased to the 400s this past week. This hard work from the community allowed for the State to provide the County with an adjustment factor downward. However, because our case rate was at 12 the week ending November 7th, even with the large adjustment factor, we were not able to get under the required metric of 7 or less,” said Mike Powers, County Executive Officer. “Testing is still very important for future case rate adjustments, but also for the Public Health team’s timely and effective contact investigation and tracing efforts. We are encouraging all community members to get tested. Testing is available 7 days a week at sites throughout our County.”

 

In alignment with Purple Tier 1, the following sectors are permitted for OUTDOOR operations only until further notice. These sectors must still maintain mitigation measures (social distancing, face covering, and sanitization): 

 

  • Cardrooms, satellite wagering
  • Family Entertainment Centers (e.g. bowling alleys, miniature golf, batting cages, kart racing, and arcades)
  • Gyms and Fitness Centers
  • Movie theaters
  • Museums, zoos, aquariums
  • Places of worship 
  • Playgrounds and recreational facilities
  • Restaurants 
  • Wineries

 

Bars, pubs, brewpubs and breweries may operate outdoors if they are offering sit-down, outdoor meals. Outdoor operations may be conducted under a tent, canopy, or other shelter if no more than one side is closed.

 

In alignment with Purple Tier 1, the following sectors are open for INDOOR operations. These sectors must still maintain mitigation measures (social distancing, face covering, and sanitization) and specific modifications in parenthesis below:

 

  • All retail ​(maximum 25% capacity)
  • Critical infrastructure 
  • Hair salons and barbershops
  • Libraries (maximum 25% capacity)
  • Nail salons and electrolysis operations
  • Personal care services (e.g. body waxing, estheticians, tattoo, massage)
  • Professional sports (without live audiences)
  • Shopping centers (e.g. malls, destination centers, swap meets, excluding food courts and common areas) (maximum 25% capacity)

 

​Schools

 

In alignment with California Department of Health requirements, schools (all grade levels) that have reopened for in-person instruction, either under a waiver or while Ventura County was in Red Tier 2, are permitted to continue to conduct in-person instruction. Schools that have not reopened must wait until they are eligible again, either by acquiring a waiver from Ventura County Public Health (grades TK-6 only) or by waiting until Ventura County returns to Red Tier 2 for at least two weeks.

 

If a school was implementing a phased re-opening (e.g., only opened grades K-2 for in-person instruction with set plans to phase in grades 3-6) while Ventura County was in Red Tier 2, the school site may continue their phased re-opening. This is only applicable to individual school sites. If a district has a phased reopening of their schools, the schools in that district that did not open for in person instruction may not reopen until Ventura County has returned to Red Tier 2 for two weeks. 

 

Schools that wish to begin providing in-person instruction for select students in grades 7-12 must follow the CDPH Cohort Guidance; this guidance is not meant to bring all students back for in-person instruction, but those that meet the Cohort Guidance criteria.

 

Schools conducting in-person instruction must maintain mitigation measures, including social distancing, face coverings, and sanitization, in compliance with schools guidance from CDPH and Ventura County Public Health. Waiver information can be found at www.venturacountyrecovers.org/school-information/.

 

Tier Advancement

 

Counties are required to remain in an assigned tier for a minimum of three weeks and must meet the criteria for the next tier for two consecutive weeks before being able to advance to the next tier.

 

“To advance forward into the Red Tier 2, Ventura County needs to have lower daily case rates. The only way to do that is to do what we know works,” said Ventura County Health Officer Dr. Robert Levin. “We all have a part in this, and we must be committed to social distancing measures in public spaces (6ft apart, wear face coverings, wash hands, etc.) and to avoid gathering with non-household members. Also, it helps everyone and the County overall to get tested whenever you have any symptom of illness that does not have another explanation, or you think you may have been exposed to COVID.”

 

To learn more about the State’s Tier system and specific allowable activities for Ventura County, visit the State of California's COVID-19 Blueprint for a Safer Economy website

 

 

ALERT COVID CASES INCREASING

The County of Ventura Public Health Department is reporting concerning increases in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and the testing positivity rate. The community is urged to use caution. The best protection against COVID-19 continues to be to wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, self-isolate if you are sick, practice physical distancing, and wear a clean face covering when in contact with others from outside your household.
 
The State monitors three key COVID-19 metrics in assessing how a County can move forward in the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. The 7-day average case rate per 100,000, the 7-day testing positivity rate and the 7-day health equity testing positivity rate. The County is meeting the metrics for the testing positivity rates for the orange tier, but the 7-day average case rate is on an upward trend. The County must meet all three metrics to continue moving forward. The 7-day case rate was 4.9. It has now increased to 5.3. It is anticipated that next week the rate will be 6.0. If this trend continues and the number exceeds the State metric for the red tier of 7 the County will have to move to the more restrictive purple tier.
“Our community members and businesses have worked so hard to follow the public health guidance. We’ve seen this in the remarkable compliance reported by our business ambassadors and city and state inspectors. Additionally, we fortunately have one of the lowest health equity metrics in the State,” said Mike Powers, County Executive Officer. “Our County, in partnership with our community, has done well but we can’t lift our guard. This is now a call to action to continue to be diligent in following the guidance and to use extra caution with any type of gatherings so that we can continue to move forward.”
Daily cases, which are reported Monday through Friday, have increased. This week there were 638 total cases reported compared to lower numbers reported for the week of October 30 with 390 cases, the week of October 23 with 423 cases and the week of October 16 with 334 cases. The last time there was a higher weekly reported case count was on August 28 with 651 cases.
“The individual and collective actions and sacrifices of all of us as Ventura County residents today, and into the holiday season, is going to determine whether we can prevent a continued uptick leading to the possibility that we would revert to the State’s more restrictive purple tier – thus causing greater sacrifice to our businesses and schools,” said Rigoberto Vargas, Public Health Director.
As the holidays approach, Public Health urges the community to use caution with gatherings. The State of California has issued gathering guidance limiting gatherings to a maximum of three households. Gatherings increase the risk for COVID-19. Residents planning to gather, following the guidance, are encouraged to get tested at one of the many County offered high volume testing sites. Testing is free of charge, no appointment is needed and offered 7 days per week. Testing is for residents, those that work in the County of Ventura or those visiting the area.
 
“We are at a critical moment in our COVID-19 recovery journey. Over the last few weeks, businesses and public spaces have reopened, and many more people have been out and around others. With increased contact among non-household members, there are many more opportunities for transmission of COVID-19, particularly if public health directives are not followed, and the data is now showing concerning trends,” said Public Health Officer, Doctor Robert Levin. “We’re safer in the community only if we follow the very specific directives issued by public health. Our collective responsibility is to take immediate action, as individuals and businesses, to reverse the trends we are experiencing.”
 
It’s important if someone thinks they could be positive for COVID-19 and are awaiting testing results, to stay at home and act as if they are positive. If a community member tests positive, they should isolate for 10 days from the onset of illness and until symptoms have improved and fever has resolved. If a person tests positive for COVID-19, they should expect a call from a contact tracer to discuss services to them while they isolate and how to protect others. The contact tracer will also work with the positive person to find who they were in close contact with while infectious. These steps help prevent further spread.
“People who have underlying health conditions remain at much greater risk for serious illness from COVID-19, so it will continue to be very important for the County's vulnerable residents to stay at home as much as possible, to have groceries and medicine delivered, and to call their providers immediately if they have even mild symptoms,” said Doctor Levin. 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 29, 2020

Seniors Now Eligible to Renew Driver’s Licenses Online

Temporary waiver allows licenses for drivers 70 and older to be renewed without an office visit

Sacramento – Californians age 70 and older with a noncommercial driver’s license are now eligible to renew online or by mail, eliminating the need to visit a California Department of Motor Vehicles office. Licenses with an expiration date between March 1, 2020, throughout the COVID-19 emergency are eligible.  

Through Executive Order, Governor Gavin Newsom has temporarily waived the California law requiring drivers age 70 and older to visit a DMV field office to renew their license for the length of California’s State of Emergency or until modified. The DMV is completing the programming necessary so customers who meet the criteria will be able to complete their renewal online beginning December 6.

Nearly all California drivers are now eligible to renew their license online or by mail – even if their renewal notice states an office visit is required.

The DMV previously provided yearlong extensions to senior drivers with noncommercial licenses expiring in March through December 2020. Those who received the extensions are eligible to renew online.

Commercial licenses, including those for drivers 70 and older, expiring between March and December are extended through December 2020, to align with federal guidelines.

The DMV previously expanded eligibility for drivers 69 and under to renew online, even if their DMV notification states they must come to an office.

Summary of California driver’s license extensions

 

 Expiration month

 Status

Age 70 & older (noncommercial)
Age 69 & younger (noncommercial)

Beginning March 2020

Expanded eligibility to renew online or by mail for licenses expiring during the emergency

Commercial (all types, all ages)

March-December 2020

Extended to December 31, 2020

Learner’s permits (noncommercial)

March-November 2020

Extended six months or to a date 24 months from the date of application

 

The ability for senior drivers to renew online is the latest action to help Californians avoid or delay a DMV office visit during the COVID-19 pandemic. The DMV continues to streamline its processes to limit the time customers spend at an office. Customers applying for a REAL ID are encouraged to fill out the online application and upload the required documents before they come to the office for expedited service.

The DMV continues to recommend that customers use its online services, expanded virtual services and other service channels to complete transactions, including eligible driver’s license and vehicle registration renewals. Customers can use the Service Advisor on the DMV website to learn their options to complete DMV tasks.

 

 

Board of Supervisors approves $10 Million COVID-19 Hospitals Assistance Program

Assistance will support local not-for-profit hospitals

 

Ventura, CA – The County of Ventura Board of Supervisors has unanimously approved a COVID-19 Hospitals Assistance Program for local not-for-profit hospitals, in the amount of $10 million to be funded by the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund, to provide financial support to local hospitals for COVID-19 costs.

 

“During this extraordinary event, local hospitals have experienced economic hardships and unreimbursed costs due to surge preparation, the assistance for COVID patients and loss of business from decreases in elective surgeries and emergency room visits,” said County Executive Officer, Mike Powers. “The hospitals have also partnered in our effort to care for COVID positive non-acute Long-Term Care Facility residents. These efforts have helped our entire community slow the spread of COVID-19. They have saved lives and worked tirelessly to serve the community. We hope that this assistance will provide relief for their dedicated service.”

 

In order to mitigate the devastating economic impacts of the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Board of Supervisors has approved programs for businesses, renters, seniors and homeless persons by utilizing a portion of the $147 million in funding the County received from the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund under the CARES Act. The not-for-profit hospital industry is another sector that is in need of financial support. These hospitals have been vital partners with the County in addressing the pandemic by providing beds and health care for COVID-19 patients.

 

“I have seen firsthand how State and County governments have worked in harmony with health care providers throughout the State. We have together successfully curtailed the spread of COVID more than other State’s our size. We have also witnessed unprecedented cooperation,” said Gary Wilde, President and CEO of Community Memorial Health System and Chair of the California Hospital Association. “Locally, the coordination has been incredible. The assistance program will certainly help our local hospitals.”

 

The funding will be distributed to Community Memorial Hospital, Ojai Valley Community Hospital, St. John’s Regional Medical Center, St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital and Adventist Health Simi Valley.

 

“This has been a truly remarkable event in how we have worked together in partnership to support one another. We appreciate the coordinated efforts and ongoing support,” said Darren Lee, President & CEO, St. John’s Regional Medical Center and St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital, Dignity Health.

 

For more information about COVID-19 response efforts please visit www.venturacountyrecovers.org.