As of March 4, 11 a.m., there have been no cases of novel coronavirus in Ventura County. 

by Kimberly Rivers

kimberly@vcreporter.com

On March 3 Ventura County Public Health issued a statement urging plans be put in place for social distancing to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the event the virus is confirmed here or nearyby.

Agencies, businesses, school districts, organization and health care providers throughout the county should develop/update their plan for social distancing. VCPH is reporting that this shift is out of an “abundance of caution” to ensure the county is ready “should the COVID-19 virus be found here or in a nearby county.”

“These groups are being asked to accomplish this within 24 to 48 hours,” said Dr. Robert Levin, Health Officer with VCPH.  “The discovery of community transmission elsewhere in the State makes me feel that COVID-19 could arrive in our County at any time and we want to be prepared.” He emphasized the plans to not need to be put in place now. Once cases of COVID-19 are found in the community, it’s time to implement social distancing plans.”

Community transmission means the virus being passed from person-to-person. According to the state there have been four confirmed community transmissions, and four people have the virus from unknown origin. As of March 2 there were 43 positive cases in California.

Social distancing involves reducing contact between people across the county. For example businesses should identify all staff who can work from home, and put in place plans to implement working remotely. 

VCPH reported that children “seem to be faring better than other groups” when they contract the virus, with the elderly being most at risk for serious illness and death. Facilities that house and care for the elderly should pay special attention to “protecting their residents from interaction with those from outside their place of residence.” No evidence was citing that pregnant women are at any increased risk and yet health officials are saying “special care” should be taken to decrease social contacts.

There have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ventura County.

As of March 3, 5:05 p.m.,  the county is reporting that five people who live in Ventura County have met the criteria set by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and have been tested. All five test results were negative.

Nineteen people in the county who are not showing any signs of the virus are under “home quarantine/isolation” due to meeting CDC criteria for “medium risk” related to their travel history. They are directed to stay at home for 14 days and to report symptoms of cough and fever. They are to take their own temperatures twice a day.

In addition, two people not from Ventura County have been quarantined at Naval Base Ventura County, Pt. Mugu. One remains in quarantine, while another was released on Feb. 28 to return home after being quarantined for the required number of days. Both individuals had come through Los Angeles International Airport and were placed in quarantine based on their travel histories; neither showed symptoms.

Online resources:

Ongoing reporting from VCReporter as new information becomes available: www.vcreporter.com/2020/03/vc-covid-19-updates-ongoing-reporting/.

COVID-19 info from Centers for Disease Control: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

Covid-19 in California, California Department of Public Health: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/ncov2019.aspx

COVID-19 travel advisories: travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/before-you-go/about-our-new-products.html

Guidance from the CDC to Ventura County Office of Education, for local school districts: www.vcoe.org/news/ArticleID/4714/coronavirus