By Kevin Daly & George Miller
Lockdown was lifted today after results came in and only one positive test occurred.
On July 17, Ventura County forcibly locked down a seven story public housing (Ventura Housing Authority) apartment building at 137 S. Palm St in Ventura. You can view the lockdown order (unsigned) and a letter from the building manager below. The order claims its authority emanates from California Code 12030 and 120175.
It says “This order shall remain in force until rescinded by the Health Officer in writing. Violation or failure to comply with this Order may result in “civil detention” and is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment, fine or both.”
We were told and the letter from the apartment manager states that the building is locked down, quarantine is mandatory until test results are received, no one is allowed in or out of the building except “essential workers” and that COVID-19 testing in the building is mandatory.
The apartment manager sent her own letter as well:
Latest bulletin 1:30 pm Monday:
We spoke to Ventura County Health Officer Robert Levin, who told us he was unfamiliar with the details and would get back to us shortly. He called within a half hour and told us the following:
The building is run by the Ventura Housing Authority and has elderly and behavior health cases living there- 74 units in total, mostly singles. Some residents are mobile, some not.
A resident fell, was hospitalized and tested positive for COVID-19. The building management went on full alert. Common areas had already been shut down, but they also disabled the keys and residents couldn’t get back in if they left and returned. Some called the police, who told the management they couldn’t do that. So, the County Health Dept was involved and quarantined the place at management’s request, Levin told me.
Two more residents became ill, tested positive. The laundry area was closed.
After the tests results came in today, 7-20-20, only one more positive . The lockdown was rescinded, but residents were asked to avoid interaction, going out and to wear masks and socially distance. Dr. Levin is recommending retesting in a week or two.
Levin said this was a unique set of circumstances and was done out of an abundance of caution due to the very vulnerable population of residents. The county wanted to avoid situations like have occurred in nursing homes we’ve all read about.
We’ll let you know if we hear more.
Photos of 137 Palm Street from Photographer, David Pu’u
A previous story on VC Health Officer Dr. Robert Levin:
By George Miller Ventura, 5-6-20- I talked with Dr. Robert Levin, Ventura County Health Officer, Public Health, of the County Health Care Agency, who quickly agreed with my statement that dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic situation is likely the biggest challenge of his career. He has the difficult job, among others, of managing Ventura County’s […]
George Miller is Publisher/Co-Founder of CitizensJournal.us and a “retired” operations management consultant residing in Oxnard. Kevin Daly is an Oxnard legal mediator.