by Kimberly Rivers

Increased hospitalizations return county to state monitoring list

On Tuesday, June 23, Rigoberto Vargas, director of Ventura County Public Health, reported that Ventura County is again on the state’s monitoring list for virus containment — and at risk of having to close businesses — due to the county exceeding the allowed percentage of hospitalizations due to COVID-19. 

There is “increased community transmission taking place in the community,” said Vargas, citing 19 new cases that have been traced to a community barbecue at a mobile home park in Oxnard. Contact tracers have found 40 people who have come into contact with those individuals. 

While the county is within the allowed numbers (4.2 percent) for those testing positive, more people are being admitted to the hospital. There have been 51 hospitalizations related to the coronavirus, putting the county at about 20 percent; 10 percent is required. 

131 new cases were reported in one day on Tuesday, with 195 new cases over the weekend. The number of people in intensive care is also increasing. “That is further concerning,” said Vargas, reporting that 18 people are in the ICU. He said that he thinks the county has plenty of access to ventilators. 

Supervisor meeting cleared of members of the public

On Tuesday, June 23, at the public meeting of the Ventura County Board of Supervisors, Supervisor Kelly Long, chair of the Ventura County Supervisors, was compelled to clear the hearing room when a member of the public refused to comply with social distancing rules and seating requirements. 

The man was sitting in a seat labeled as one that was to remain empty. Long asked him several times to move to another seat; he refused. 

Prior to that, Supervisor Linda Parks commented on the importance of an agreement with the public to comply with mask mandates and social distancing. 

“The concept of having to go back would be a huge impact on our lifestyle, on our economy . . . It would be a lot worse if we have to go back,” said Parks, speaking about having to close up businesses if the county is unable to meet state parameters.