Pictured: San Buenaventura Mission founded by St. Father Junipero Serra was named a minor basilica by Pope Francis in June 2020. Photo by William Perry/Stock

by Kimberly Rivers



In the past week Ventura County coronavirus numbers have mimicked what is being reported elsewhere in the state, with increasing numbers of people testing positive. 

The last week also saw the first COVID-19 death of a person with no other known health issues that would have exacerbated the infection. The man was 79 years old. Also of note is that Ventura County Public Health reported that one infant was hospitalized requiring treatment for COVID-19

On July 14, the county reported 373 additional people testing positive, 95 people hospitalized due to coronavirus symptoms and 29 people with COVID-19 being treated in area intensive care units. On that day there were 2,132 people under active quarantine  and the county was reporting a total of 53 deaths with an age range of 29 to 107 years of age. At that time a total of 90,899 people had been tested in Ventura County. 

On July 21, the county reported 5,955 people had tested positive for the coronavirus. One day later, the county saw 107 new cases. 

On Friday, July 24, VCPH reported four new deaths associated with COVID-19 for a total of 67 deaths. There were 236 new cases in one day for a total of 6,392 cases in the county. 87 people required hospitalizations for their symptoms and 20 additional people required acute care in intensive care units. A total of 102, 226 people have been tested in the county. On Thursday, July 23, the county reported 2,733 active cases under quarantine. 

Updates reported on www.vcemergency.com 

COVID-19 business compliance line

For questions regarding business reopenings and to confirm whether a businesses is complying with current orders members of the public can call or email Ventura County: 

Nomination filing for Ventura City Council open through Aug. 7

During the general election on Nov. 3, registered voters in the city of Ventura will have the opportunity to vote for city councilmembers in Districts 2, 3 and 7. Those interested in running for city council have until Aug. 7 to file for nomination. Candidates must be 18 years or older and reside and be registered to vote in the district in which they seek election. Councilmembers each serve a four-year term; those elected on Nov. 3 will assume their seats in December 2020.

Prospective candidates must obtain nomination papers in advance from the City Clerk’s office, which is open for virtual appointments. To schedule an appointment, contact City Clerk Antoinette Mann at 805-658-4745 or email cityclerk@cityofventura.ca.gov. A candidate orientation video can be viewed at cityofventura.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=17&clip_id=1623. For more information, visit www.cityofventura.ca.gov/265/Election.

California relief fund for artists and cultural practitioners

Artists and other cultural practitioners  who have been impacted by the pandemic are eligible to apply for grant funding provided through a partnership between the Center for Cultural Innovation and the California Arts Council. 

$920,000 is will be awarded through $1,000 grants to individuals. Application deadline is Aug. 18 at 3 p.m. Application and information is online at ww.cciarts.org/California_Relief_Fund.html

VCMC receives grant for pediatric unit

The Ventura County Medical Center has been awarded a $15 million grant to fund construction and equipment of a pediatric unit. 

A 20-unit pediatric unit is scheduled to be completed in March 2022. The entire project also includes 18 definitive observation unit beds and 22 medical and surgical beds. The helicopter pad will also be expanded to accommodate larger Firehawk helicopters recently obtained by the county. 

“We believe all children should have access to the very best services available,” said Dr. John Fankhauser MD, CEO of Ventura County Medical Center and Santa Paula Hospital. “Children are cared for at VCMC without regard to their family’s ability to pay by a facility that has been recognized for excellence in care, including being honored as the number one Family Medicine Residency Program in the nation.” 

The grant is provided by the California Health Facilities Authority.

Santa Paula Proud volunteer program

The city of Santa Paula has announced a new volunteer program with various opportunities to help the city and its residents in various ways including through a park and bike trail beautification effort to remove graffiti, adopt-a-park program to help keep a park clean and maintained, a bike trail ambassador, recreation class instruction and a meals on wheels delivery driver. 

Children ages six and up can volunteer with supervision. Details and volunteer forms are online at www.spcity.org/FormCenter/Parks-and-Recreation-13/Volunteer-Interest-Form-58.

County Fire Public Relations earns excellence award

The California Association of Public Information Officials has awarded the Public Relations team of the Ventura County Fire Department with an Excellence in Public Information and Communications (EPIC) award in crisis communications related to the Maria Fire and two awards of distinction. The first was for the exhibit *Everyday Heroes* shown at the 2019 Ventura County Fair and the second was for the communication and marketing process for “Public Safety Power Shutoffs.” 

Ventura Mission named a minor basilica

On July 15, Archbishop José Gómez announced that Pope Francis declared that the San Buenaventura Mission be deemed a minor basilica, making it the first basilica located in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, which encompasses Ventura County.

It is one of six minor basilicas in California and one of 88 in the United States. 

The date of a formal celebration at the mission is pending.