April 13, 2021
Board of Supervisors Dismisses Lawsuit Against Godspeak Calvary Chapel
Ventura, CA – Reporting out from a closed session deliberation, the County of Ventura’s Board of Supervisors has issued a joint statement regarding a lawsuit against Godspeak Calvary Chapel.
The Board of Supervisors has unanimously voted to dismiss the lawsuit against Godspeak Calvary Chapel. The lawsuit was a last resort to keep the public safe through adherence with State Public Health Orders in the height of the pandemic to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Dismissing the lawsuit is an act of goodwill in acknowledgement of the loosening of indoor restrictions accompanying the County’s move into the Orange Tier. We extend our deep appreciation and thanks to places of worship that have worked so hard and continue to follow the public health guidance of social distancing, wearing masks and conducting services outdoors or virtually to keep their congregations safe from the devastating impacts of COVID-19. Nearly 1,000 community members have lost their lives to COVID-19 in Ventura County. Working together we can prevent further loss of life. Community members are urged to get tested for COVID-19, get vaccinated when possible and continue adherence to all public health protocols to protect lives and help us move forward in fully reopening our schools and the economy.
The State of California COVID-19 industry guidance for places of worship can be found at the following link: https://files.covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-places-of-worship--en.pdf. In the Orange Tier places of worship are able to be open indoors with modifications at 50% capacity following the State issued guidance which includes masks and social distancing.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
County of Ventura
April 13, 2021
County of Ventura to pause use of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine
Ventura, CA – Out of an abundance of caution, the County of Ventura is following the recommendation of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to pause the use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine after reports that 6 women between the ages of 18 and 48 developed unusual types of blood clots 6 to 13 days after receiving the vaccine. This pause will last until the FDA and CDC complete their review, which is expected to take several days.
These reactions are extremely rare, as nearly 7,000,000 people have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the United States to date. People who received the vaccine in the last 3 weeks should look for any symptoms of these unusual clots, including severe headaches, abdominal or leg pain, and shortness of breath, and contact their medical provider if symptoms develop. People who don't have a medical provider can either go to an Emergency Room or an Urgent Care or call 2-1-1 to connect with a healthcare provider or call 9-1-1 if emergency response is needed.
There have been no reports of serious adverse reactions in Ventura County from COVID-19 vaccines. 13,685 Johnson & Johnson doses have been administered in Ventura County.
Joint CDC and FDA Statement on Johnson & Johnson can be found at www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/s0413-JJ-vaccine.html.
County of Ventura to enter State’s Orange Tier 12:01 am April 7
Ventura, CA – The County of Ventura will move to the State’s Orange Tier effective Wednesday, April 7 at 12:01 am. The California Department of Public Health announced today that the County has met the State’s metrics to move forward.
“On behalf of the Board of Supervisors we share in the good news and appreciate that we as a community have been able to bring the numbers down in our County and State. The good work of our citizens, our businesses and the protocols put forth have helped us control COVID. What a good feeling for grandparents to hug their grandkids, for kids to be able to go back to school and for the struggling businesses. This has really been one of those things where we have all had to come together to help one another. Our thanks goes out to all of those helpers who have worked hard and helped us get here today,” said Chair of the Board Supervisor Linda Parks.
The County’s 7-day average case rate per 100,000 is 3.9 (orange), the 7-day testing positivity rate is 1.6% (yellow) and the health equity 7-day testing positivity rate is 2.8% (orange).
“This progress, thanks to the hard work of our community members, means that our restaurants, retailers, gyms and other businesses can open to more customers which will help keep doors open, grow jobs in industries that were hit hard during the height of the pandemic and get us moving forward on the recovery path,” said County Executive Officer Michael Powers. “This is the time to keep it local in supporting our businesses.”
Businesses in need of support are encouraged to apply for the County’s 2nd Business Assistance Grant. The application period for the $5,000 grants has been extended to April 13 at 6 pm. More information can be found at www.vcbusinessgrants.com.
All activities authorized under the State’s Orange Tier can resume in accordance with State guidance:
- Amusement parks: smaller parks can open outdoors with 25% max occupancy or 500 people, whichever is fewer; there must be reservations or advanced ticket sales and only local attendees are allowed (from the same county as the park’s location)
- Bars (where no meal is served): open outdoors with modifications
- Cardrooms and satellite wagering: open indoors with 25% max occupancy
- Family entertainment centers: open indoors 25% max occupancy
- Fitness centers and gyms: open indoors with 25% max occupancy; indoor pools open at 25% occupancy
- Hotels and lodging: fitness centers can now open indoors with 25% max occupancy; indoor pools open at 25% occupancy
- Movie theaters: open indoors with 50% max occupancy or 200 people, whichever is fewer
- Museums, zoos, and aquariums: open indoors with 50% max occupancy
- Offices: open indoors with modifications though telework is still encouraged
- Outdoor live events: open at 33% capacity
- Places of worship: open indoors with 50% max occupancy
- Retail (including standalone grocers): open indoors at full capacity with modifications
- Restaurants open indoors with 50% max occupancy or 200 people, whichever is fewer; only members of same household may share a table
- Shopping centers (including swap meets and indoor malls): open indoors at full capacity with modifications; common areas must remain closed and food courts are at reduced capacity
- Wineries, breweries and distilleries: open indoors with 25% max occupancy or 100 people, whichever is fewer; only members of same household may share a table
- Youth sports: competitions between two teams are allowed in certain sports according to the State’s Youth Sports Guidance
“Continued adherence to public health mitigation measures such as wearing a mask that covers your nose and mouth, washing hands frequently with soap and water, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces, and practicing physical distancing from those outside your household will help limit the impact of variants circulating in Southern California, particularly as more indoor activities open and expand operations,” said Public Health Officer Doctor Robert Levin. “I am happy for our local businesses, but we can’t let our guard down.”
Today, public health reported 10 new COVID-19 cases, 2,059 additional tests completed and 1 additional death of an 89-year-old woman. There are currently 23 people hospitalized with COVID-19 and 5 in the ICU. The current R-effective is .75 which means that the spread of COVID-19 is likely decreasing; R-effective for California is .78. COVID-19 testing continues to be offered throughout the County to help contain further spread of COVID-19. Testing information can be found at www.venturacountyrecovers.org.
For further information by industry sector, visit the State’s Industry Guidance website.
View today’s press conference at https://vimeo.com/531456507.
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
||Contact: Governor's Press Office
|Tuesday, April 6, 2021
Governor Newsom Outlines the State’s Next Step in the COVID-19 Pandemic Recovery, Moving Beyond the Blueprint
California has administered 20 million vaccines, including 4 million to the hardest-hit communities
State aims to fully reopen on June 15, will continue to require masking and encourage all Californians to get vaccinated
SACRAMENTO – As California surpasses a major milestone in the fight against COVID — administering more than 20 million vaccine doses, including 4 million in the state’s hardest-hit communities, and with hospitalizations continuing to steadily decline — Governor Gavin Newsom today outlined the state’s next step in the COVID-19 pandemic recovery, moving beyond the Blueprint for a Safer Economy.
On June 15, California will fully open its economy if two criteria are met:
- If vaccine supply is sufficient for Californians 16 years and older who wish to be inoculated; and
- If hospitalization rates are stable and low
Everyday activities will be allowed and businesses can open with common-sense risk reduction measures, including encouraging all Californians to get vaccinated and mandating masking, to prevent illness and promote health. The state will continue contact tracing and testing to detect cases early and contain spread of the virus. The entire state will move into this new phase as a whole. The state will monitor hospitalization rates, vaccine access and vaccine efficacy against variants, with the option to revisit the June 15 date if needed.
“With more than 20 million vaccines administered across the state, it is time to turn the page on our tier system and begin looking to fully reopen California’s economy,” said Governor Newsom. “We can now begin planning for our lives post-pandemic. We will need to remain vigilant, and continue the practices that got us here – wearing masks and getting vaccinated – but the light at the end of this tunnel has never been brighter.”
“California has made incredible progress controlling the spread of COVID-19 by staying home, masking, and getting vaccines out quickly to Californians in every corner of the state, including in those communities hardest hit by this pandemic,” said California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly. “In order to take the next step, we must continue to do our part to keep this momentum moving in the right direction, and that means continuing to wear a mask and ensuring everyone who is eligible gets the vaccine.”
When California fully reopens the economy, the Blueprint for a Safer Economy will end. However, common-sense health measures such as masking will remain across the state. Testing or vaccination verification requirements will remain in relevant settings.
For more information on the state’s move beyond the Blueprint, click here.
All sectors listed in the current Blueprint for a Safer Economy grid may return to usual operations in compliance with Cal/OSHA requirements and with common-sense public health policies in place, such as required masking, testing and with vaccinations encouraged. Large-scale indoor events, such as conventions, will be allowed to occur with testing or vaccination verification requirements.
California is able to reopen fully and safely because of our commitment to the equitable distribution of vaccines. Today, the state reached a total of 4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered to Californians in some of the state’s hardest-hit communities, less than a month after delivering 2 million doses to these communities. The state, in partnership with local government, health care providers and community-based organizations, will continue its extensive efforts to get eligible Californians vaccinated, including its support of expanded hours and access through community clinics and providers, public education campaign, and support for community-based strategies such as canvassing. Equity continues to be the focus of our vaccine efforts, especially as we prepare to fully reopen.
On March 4, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the state had set aside 40 percent of vaccine doses for the hardest-hit communities and established an equity metric to increase vaccinations in those communities. Doing so recognizes that the pandemic did not affect California communities equally. Forty percent of COVID cases and deaths have occurred in the lowest quartile of the Healthy Places Index (HPI), which provides overall scores and data that predict life expectancy and compares community conditions that shape health across the state.
California continues to plan for the vaccination of Californians under 16 years of age, protection against new variants and continued tracking and containment of spread. The state stands ready to mobilize additional resources if there is an increase in cases.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
County of Ventura
March 26, 2021
CA COVID‐19 Rent Relief Available to Income-Eligible Households
Ventura, CA – The State of California recently launched the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program to aid income-qualified tenants who are most at risk of eviction due to the COVID-19 pandemic by providing financial assistance for unpaid rent and utilities.
Funding for this program comes from $2.6 billion in federal rental assistance, with Ventura County designated to receive $52.2 million, which includes $39.3 million allocated to Ventura County and $12.9 million for the City of Oxnard. Ventura County is collaborating with the City of Oxnard to support this state-administered emergency rental assistance program, along with several community organizations that have contracted with the state to conduct local outreach to assist residents with the application process through in-person appointments in multiple languages.
“We are extremely grateful for our community partners as we jointly work to serve those throughout the County who are still struggling from this pandemic,” said County Executive Officer Mike Powers. “Together we have built an infrastructure to help get relief to both property owners and tenants with a focus on equity.”
Landlords who participate in the COVID‐19 Rent Relief program can receive reimbursement for 80 percent of their eligible renters’ unpaid rent accrued between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021, if they agree to waive the remaining 20 percent of their unpaid rent from that same time. Eligible renters can also apply on their own to receive 25 percent of their unpaid rent that was accrued during the same 12 months, even if their landlord doesn’t participate. Some tenants may also be able to receive assistance to cover 100 percent of utilities for the past year and 25 percent of future rent when eviction protections expire.
To be eligible, tenants must make 80 percent or less of their location’s area median income (AMI), which is an annual income of $72,300 for a household of two. The state will prioritize those making below 50 percent of the local AMI, which is $45,200 for a household of two, and those recently unemployed. Applications are not first-come, first-served but will be accepted on an ongoing basis.
“Outreach to this rental assistance program will be key. We are currently working with our community partners in locating vulnerable tenants in pockets throughout our county to communicate with them effectively about this available rent and utility relief,” said Melissa Livingston, Director of the Ventura County Human Services Agency. “This program is really tailored to address the inequities of those most disadvantaged communities.”
Tenants and landlords can apply online at HousingIsKey.com or by calling 833-430-2122 seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Assistance at the call center is provided in multiple languages with case managers available to help applicants in providing all the documents and information necessary to complete the application. Those needing further technical assistance filling out the application can contact one of the local partnering community organizations listed at https://housing.ca.gov/covid_rr/partner_resources.html.
Community members are encouraged to help spread the word about this opportunity.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
County of Ventura
March 25, 2021
COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility to expand to 50+ April 1 and 16+ April 15
Ventura, CA – The State of California has announced that vaccine eligibility will expand April 1 to those 50 or older and to those 16 or older April 15. “This is exciting news for our residents. The County is aligning itself with the State on this expanded rollout and we are hopeful more vaccines will be coming soon so appointments can be secured,” said Chair of the Board of Supervisors Linda Parks.
The County received 14,090 vaccines during the week of March 22. Appointments for 1st and 2nd doses quickly filled. The number of community members who are currently eligible exceeds the amount of vaccines provided to the County. The next shipment will include 18,000 doses. More than 36% of eligible community members have received the COVID-19 vaccine. More than 360,000 vaccine doses have been administered.
“We are eager to expand eligibility and have built the capacity to get the vaccines administered quickly but supply continues to be an issue. Several hundred thousand community members will be eligible by mid-April. We hope that the expansion of the eligibility will match the supply from the State,” said County Executive Officer Mike Powers.
The vaccine appointment system is transitioning to the state’s My Turn platform. All County sites will be on the new system by March 27. My Turn requires individuals who sign up for a two-dose series (Pfizer or Moderna) to schedule both appointments together at myturn.ca.gov. They will receive a confirmation via email or text that includes appointment information along with a confirmation code. Instructions are included in these confirmations on how to cancel or change appointments. For those who don’t have access to email or text messaging, they can schedule and confirm appointments via the MyTurn phone line at 833-422-4255. The My Turn support line also assists in answering basic questions and looking up appointments to confirm details.
Anyone who had registered for their first dose on VC Recovers will need to make their corresponding second dose appointment the same way when eligible at www.venturacountyrecovers.org. All sites are still by appointment only for eligible groups that live or work in Ventura County. The County’s current assistance line 805-477-7161 may continue to support the community in making second dose appointments. Community members making new appointments for 1st and 2nd dose will need to call the My Turn phone line.
“We’re concerned it may be frustrating to many people anxious to get this vaccine with what is still relatively limited supply. We’ll make every dose available as soon as we get it,” said Public Health Officer Doctor Robert Levin.
Relaxed School Distancing Rules are Another Sign of Progress
In a new sign of progress in the battle against the coronavirus, health officials have reduced the minimum required distance between students in a classroom from six feet to three feet. The change came quickly after the CDC announced the new three foot guidelines last Friday. The California Department of Public Health, which sets the baseline rules that Ventura County schools must follow, soon followed suit. Ventura County Public Health, which has the authority to impose stricter rules than the state, also adopted the three foot distancing guideline. Studies show the reduced distancing between students in class does not significantly increase the risk of virus spread as long as students and staff are all correctly wearing masks on a consistent basis. The rules still require six foot distancing between students and staff members.
The space between desks is one of the critical factors that determines how many students can be at school at the same time and impacts the number of in-person learning days schools are able to offer each week. While the new guidelines are a welcomed development, they won’t necessarily result in changes to school districts’ existing reopening plans. Most local districts have already implemented or will soon launch hybrid schedules that include a mix of in-person and distance learning at all grade levels. These schedules were designed to allow students to start returning to class without jeopardizing their safety and that of teachers and staff. Altering the complex schedules, classroom configurations and labor agreements that are already in place may not be practical for some districts with the end of the school year fast approaching. “I want to recognize the great work our school districts are doing to digest and adapt to these rapidly changing circumstances,” said Dr. Cesar Morales, Deputy Superintendent at the Ventura County Office of Education. “I know all of our education leaders are focused on maximizing learning opportunities for students while keeping everyone as safe as possible.”
In another new development, State health officials have now said that band, drumline, choir and drama – in addition to cheerleading – may all resume while following the guidelines for low-contact youth recreational activities. “These changes are all positive steps toward getting our schools fully reopened,” Dr. Cesar Morales said. “This is a direct result of the wonderful work our community is doing to fight the coronavirus and I urge everyone to stay vigilant in their efforts to keep the virus at bay.”
Each school district independently develops its own reopening plans and communicates the details to its students and families. Updates on the impacts of COVID-19 on Ventura County schools and answers to common questions are available at www.vcoe.org/COVID-19 .
COVID Business Assistance Grant Webinars