By George Miller
From Agenda Item G-1-COVID Update (Presented by City Mgr Alex Nguyen)
Only 5% ICU bed county availability, record “cases”, 12% of positives are hospitalized, 1-2% of those reach ICU or die. Particularly bad in Oxnard, with 10,000 cases. Oxnard has 38% of county cases.
HE THREATENED Fines for unpermitted sports, large group gatherings, water shut-off for non-compliant businesses and presumably for individuals (after multiple warnings or citations).
Nguyen said that vaccines are starting to come out. Best remedies-are mask, distance, no gatherings.
Councilman Perello blamed no masks for deaths. Said deaths are 302,000 vs all of WWII 400,000+ deaths and Oxnard (population 220,000?).
Mayor Zaragoza, City Mgr. Nguyen, Councilman Perello, all appealed for compliance, as did Councilwoman Lopez. She wanted to know if there is a neighborhood breakdown of info. Zaragoza said to ask County Health Director 805-654-2613. Outgoing Mayor ProTem Ramirez says it’s not just Ventura County. Only 100 ICU beds left in LA County. You can get sick or carry it to someone else. We are experiencing a Thanksgiving spike and are now endangered by a possible Christmas spike. Zaragoza- we need to work together to stop COVID.
Some have told us that the legality of shutting off water, an “essential” resource, for something other than non-payment, is highly legally questionable, but we have not seen an applicable legal opinion. Closures/restrictions are also under legal attack, with some success in some quarters, such as NY, LA and elsewhere.
There is even the question about whether we are legally in a pandemic. Opponents say no. A search for the legal definition of a pandemic gives some surprisingly divergent answers. And if we are in a pandemic, what restrictions may violate the Constitution and under what circumstances. I extracted this definition from the CDC website, from here: “Pandemic refers to an epidemic that has spread over several countries or continents, usually affecting a large number of people.” That of course forces one to look up epidemic: “Epidemic refers to an increase, often sudden, in the number of cases of a disease above what is normally expected in that population in that area.” A little vague huh? No quantification. It sets a real low bar, too. Past pandemics for H1N1, SARS, Hong Kong Flue, were all worse, yet no lockdown hysteria.
Although reported cases have increased, the death rate is slowing. Citizens Journal has sought data from the county on how ICU occupation rates and capacity are calculated. We also requested information on determination of COVID19 mortality, especially on how declarations are made when comorbidies are present. We also requested a comparison of overall mortality for this year and last year. We are particularly perplexed about comorbidies such as traffic accidents and drug overdose victims being included in the COVID death statistics. To date, only 5 COVID19 deaths with no comorbidities have been reported in the county. COVID19 may or may not have been a major factor in some some of the other deaths, but county stats and lack of response to our questions shed no light on the answers.
Our Editor received this response to her third request for information:
Ms. Tash, Please be advised that due to the COVID-19 emergency it has been determined that the public interest is not served by diverting staff and resources away from emergency response to immediately respond to this request. (Gov. Code, § 6255.).
Public Information Officer
Office of the CEO
County of Ventura |Hall of Administration
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Ventura, CA 93009-0001 (805) 654-2640