Ventura County launches contact tracing to re-open on Friday

Curbside service for bookstores, florists, clothing and sporting goods stores

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.”

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“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].


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B T Ryan

Poppycock…the sensitivity and specificity of the virus test and the antigen leave a lot of questions unanswered. In other word, there are a great number of false positives and these numbers fluctuate depending on the population base tested. This is easily defined as an attempt to force a worthless vaccine that will probably do more harm than good and further erode our freedoms. Say NO to testing and you know what you can do with your vaccine…

J Pakosdi

I’m with YOU!

Citizen Reporter

Assembly Bill No. 262
CHAPTER 798

An act to add Section 120175.5 to the Health and Safety Code, relating to public health.

[ Approved by Governor October 12, 2019. Filed with Secretary of State October 12, 2019. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 262, Gloria. Local health officers: communicable diseases.
Existing law requires the State Department of Public Health to examine into the causes of communicable disease in man and domestic animals occurring or likely to occur in this state, and to establish a list of reportable diseases and conditions. Existing law requires a health officer knowing or having reason to believe that any case of the diseases made reportable by regulation of the department, or any other contagious, infectious or communicable disease exists, or has recently existed, within the territory under the local health officer’s jurisdiction, to take measures to prevent the spread of the disease or occurrence of additional cases.
This bill would require a local health officer, during an outbreak of a communicable disease, or upon the imminent and proximate threat of a communicable disease outbreak or epidemic that threatens the public’s health, to notify and update governmental entities within the health officer’s jurisdiction about certain communicable diseases that may affect them, if, in the opinion of the local health officer, action or inaction on the part of the governmental entity might affect outbreak response efforts. The bill would require the local health officer to make any relevant information available to those governmental entities, as specified, and would require both the local health officer and the governmental entities to comply with applicable state and federal privacy laws with regard to information that the health officer provides to the governmental entities. The bill would authorize the local health officer to issue orders to other governmental entities within the local health officer’s jurisdiction to take any action the local health officer deems necessary to control the spread of the communicable disease.
By imposing new requirements on local health officers, this bill would create a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
DIGEST KEY
Vote: majority Appropriation: no Fiscal Committee: yes Local Program: yes
BILL TEXT
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1. Section 120175.5 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:
120175.5. (a) During an outbreak of a communicable disease, or upon the imminent and proximate threat of a communicable disease outbreak or epidemic that threatens the public’s health, a local health officer shall do both of the following:
(1) Promptly notify and update governmental entities within the local health officer’s jurisdiction about communicable diseases listed in Section 2500 of Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations that may affect them, if, in the opinion of the local health officer, action or inaction on the part of the governmental entity might affect outbreak response efforts.
(2) Make any relevant information available to governmental entities, including, but not limited to, the locations of concentrations of cases, the number of residents affected, and the measures that the governmental entities should take to assist with outbreak response efforts.
(b) In addition to the actions required under subdivision (a), the local health officer may issue orders to other governmental entities within the local health officer’s jurisdiction to take any action the local health officer deems necessary to control the spread of the communicable disease.
(c) A local health officer that provides the notification and information to a governmental entity pursuant to subdivision (a), and the governmental entity that receives the notification and information, shall comply with all applicable state and federal privacy laws.
SEC. 2. If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.

Source:https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB262

William Hicks

NOW, that’s as clear as mud. Isn’t it becoming a habit with government to hide issues in the volume of words?

Kristen Lynch

As far as I’m concerned is a complete coward. I called his office and emailed him numerous times regarding how his decisions were affecting the special-needs community and how dangerous it was what he was doing. I was told by his office he would try to get back to me that was a joke. The man doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about. And as far as I’m concerned the children we lost over this you can thank Dr. Levine. He won’t even answer to the public what a coward

William Hicks

Is Levin just ignoring “science”? What political party does he belong to, and is that influencing his strong arm tactic’s?

William Hicks

Any answer as to how Levin will accomplish the “tracking”?

Why was is this more important than isolating/quqrqntining the original victims of AIDS?

Sheryl hamlin

Contact tracing can turn in to entrapment. Suppose person A tests positive. Person A has a grudge against Person B and claims falsely he/she touched Person B, who is then quarantined. What recourse does Person B have? Does he need a lawyer to prove he wasn’t touched? Does he take a test he doesn’t want? Slippery slope to degrade personal liberties. Won’t end well.

Brian Kin

Person B would not test positive, therefore it would no longer be an issue.

Jim Martindale

Unless, of course, person B has false positive test result, which very likely to happen since the testing even for antigens are not specific for Covid 19 anyway. A common cold which happens to involve a virus many years ago will give a positive test result.