By Michael Hernandez
VENTURA—Ventura County Public Health Officer Dr. Robert Levin explained the new contact tracing that is now in place; while Ventura County Executive Officer Mike Powers explained that the county will re-open on Friday curbside service for bookstores, florists, clothing and sporting goods stores at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting.
“We will test the contacts of all those who tested positive” for COVID-19 said Dr. Robert Levin. “Every contact will be isolated and quarantined and monitored.” The plan is to have teams of 10 trained contact specialists who are supervised by a medical professional.
“If a person tests positive—we will check for COVID-19 symptoms and we will see if they have needs: medication, hospitalization or food—so it will make it easier to go along with the quarantine plan. We will isolate and find their contacts.
“The State has a plan for hiring 10,000 contact tracers statewide and we will have 10 in Ventura County and anticipate 40-50 more.”
“Yesterday, we heard the Governor on his plan to re-open California and move us from stage one to stage two,” said Ventura County CEO Mike Powers who explained the Resilience Roadmap Stages as follows:
- Stage 1: Safety and Preparedness (Making essential workforce environment as safe as possible.);
- Stage 2: Lower Risk Workplaces (Creating opportunities for lower risk sectors to adapt and re-open. Modified school programs and childcare re-open.);
- Stage 3: Higher Risk Workplaces (Creating opportunities for higher risk sectors to adapt and re-open.);
- Stage 4: End of Stay-At-Home Order (Return to expanded workforce in highest risk workplaces. Require Therapeutics.).
Powers also highlighted the State Reopening Roadmap Report Card using Key Metrics as follows:Stability of Hospitalizations
- Personal Protective Equipment Inventory
- Healthcare Surge Capacity
- Testing Capacity
- Contact Tracing Capability
- Public Health Guidance in Place
“The community complied and that’s why the incident rate is low and slowed the spread and put us in a position to align ourselves to the Governor’s plan,” said Mike Powers. “We want to implement a safe plan as we move forward; away from essential and non-essential services to low-risk and high-risk workplaces. We want businesses to gradually re-open.
“We are working with our city partners, it’s a collaborative approach work with local businesses that have great ideas and the expertise on how to implement physical distancing rules in their businesses.”
Seniors who qualify, receive meals; local restaurants kept busy
“We have a partnership between the county and emergency center operations statewide to provide three meals a day to our older adults that qualify,” said Ventura County Area Agency on Aging (VCAAA) Director Victoria Jump. “Last week, we served 352 adults that qualified, 7,000 plus meals prepared by local restaurants. Jump said that now 787 people had joined the Great Plate program with some availability for local restaurants to still join.
Individuals must be over 65 years of age.
Meanwhile, the Senior Nutrition Program, still provides nutritious meals for older adults in Ventura County and also includes Home-Delivered Meal services. Last year, the program provided 219,552 meals to 4,479 seniors with nearly 65 percent of those meals delivered to 1,163 homebound seniors from 10 meal sites throughout the county, mostly using volunteer drivers. The Senior Nutrition Program is not income based. There is a suggested donation of three dollars per meal but no eligible individual (60 years and over) is denied participation because of inability to make a donation.
(Editor’s Note: For more information about either program go to: vcaaa.org. or call 1-805-477-7300.)
Board of Supervisors celebrate National Nurses Week
A tribute was made by the Board of Supervisors to public health nurses with National Nurses Week celebrated. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared 2020 the “Year of the Nurse”—made especially important by the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.
Board of Supervisor comments:
Supervisor Kelly Long: “The critical role of nurses has never been more clear than today.”
Supervisor Steve Bennett: “Nurses are our front-line professionals.”
Supervisor Linda Parks: “We only come into contact with nurses when we are in dire straits. Thank you for your mission of caring for people and you do it so well and with such expertise.”
Supervisor Bob Huber: “We thank you very much. From the bottom of my heart, I appreciate you.”
Supervisor John Zaragoza: “You keep us safe. We really appreciate all our front-line workers. Thank you.”
Michael Hernandez, Co-Founder of the Citizens Journal—Ventura County’s online news service; editor of the History Makers Report and founder of History Makers International—a community nonprofit serving youth and families in Ventura County, is a former Southern California daily newspaper journalist and religion and news editor. He worked 25 years as a middle school teacher in Monrovia and Los Angeles Unified School Districts. Mr. Hernandez can be contacted by email at [email protected].