County of Ventura Poised to Reopen and Move Forward – Indoor Malls Permitted to Reopen

VENTURA, CA – The Public Health Officer announced today that indoor malls are permitted to reopen. Businesses within the malls must follow the state guidance and register at www.vcreopens.com.

“Our community has worked so hard to social distance and to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our County. As we continue to reopen, we must do so with caution. We must continue to practice social distancing and businesses must make modifications needed to lower the risk of COVID-19 exposure. This will help keep our numbers low so we can continue to move forward,” said Public Health Officer Doctor Robert Levin.

Last Friday, Governor Newsom shared critical information regarding how the state will move through Stage 2 and 3 of the state’s Resilience Roadmap. The Governor outlined additional information for counties, like the County of Ventura, that have attested to meeting the state’s variance criteria to reopen at an accelerated pace.

The County of Ventura can elect to open a given sector so long as:

(1) the state has issued guidance for how a given sector can reopen

(2) the local health officer has provided approval for that sector to open

If the state has not yet released guidance for a sector, then that sector cannot yet be opened. The state recently allowed barbershops and hair salons to open. The state has not provided further guidance on Stage 3 businesses.

The County’s local health order is aligned with the state order, this means that as the state allows for industries to reopen, we can do so locally without having to modify the local order. The County learns about the issuance of new state guidance at the same time as the community. Once issued, the Public Health Officer reviews and approves whether that area can reopen. When barbershop and hair salon guidance was issued by the state, the County Health Officer immediately reviewed the guidance and businesses were approved to reopen here in our County on the same day. Our goal is to reopen local businesses as quickly and safely as possible.

The state guidance often requires precautionary measures that are not mandated locally. For example, though there is no local order requiring masks the state guidance does require masks for certain industries. Businesses will need to prepare for these types of requirements.

The County of Ventura continues to advocate at the state level for safely reopening. The County was the first Southern California county to be approved for accelerated reopening enabling dine in and shop in options. The variance still requires state guidance to move ahead of other areas.

The following areas are not yet permitted to operate in the state at this time:

  • Personal services such as nail salons, tattoo parlors, gyms and fitness studios
  • Indoor museums, kids’ museums, gallery spaces, zoos and libraries
  • Community centers, including public pools, playgrounds, and picnic areas
  • Entertainment venues, such as movie theaters, gaming, gambling, arcade venues, pro sports
  • Nightclubs, concert venues, live audience sports, festivals, theme parks
  • Hotels/lodging for leisure and tourism

Before reopening, businesses must follow the state guidance at www.vcreopens.com:

  1. Begin by reviewing the state guidance. https://covid19.ca.gov/industry-guidance/
  2. Upon reviewing the guidance, complete a detailed risk assessment of your business in accordance with the state guidelines.
  3. Complete a written worksite-specific COVID-19 Prevention Plan and post it at your business.
  4. Implement the prevention measures identified in your worksite-specific COVID-19 Prevention Plan.
  5. Designate an on-duty employee responsible for monitoring compliance with your plan.
  6. Complete the attestation form at www.vcemergency.com/business-attestation.
  7. Post the COVID compliance hotline flyer at the place of business. 

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