Sign of the times: Seniors ordered to 'stay well at home;' businesses close

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Ojai Valley News photo by Perry Van Houten

In light of COVID-19, signs began appearing in Ojai this week as the community tries to cope with the emergency. At the Ojai Playhouse, the marquee wording encourages residents to “stay healthy, helpful and kind.”


Austin Widger, Ojai Valley News reporter
As of Thursday afternoon, there were 13 cases of COVID-19 in Ventura County. One was confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and 12 were presumptive positive.


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According to a press release from the Ventura County Public Health department, it will no longer be reporting presumptive positive cases, and will instead be counting them as positive cases. The CDC lab will also no longer be providing providing confirmation; rather, the local lab will provide the final results.

Current cases in the county include five contracted from community transmission, and the others labeled as travel-related, person-to-person and those “under investigation.”
In addition, of 12:01 a.m. March 18, Ventura County Public Health Officer Robert Levin issued an order mandating residents vulnerable to COVID-19 to shelter in their place of residence until 11:59 p.m. April 1.
All individuals 75 years old or older, or 70 years or older with a medical condition, are ordered to stay at home.
The order carries penalties for those who do not comply, including a misdemeanor charge and fine.
Other stipulations of the order include the closure of bars and nightclubs that do not serve food, movie theaters, live performance venues, bowling alleys, arcades, gyms, fitness centers, aquatic centers, wineries, breweries, and taprooms.
These businesses must remain closed through April 1 as well. Restaurants are allowed to stay open for drive-through and pickup orders only.
Mayor Johnny Johnston said in a letter to Ojai residents sent out shortly before this order on March 17: “I’m asking you all to remain calm, support each other, and encourage best practices. Your personal behavior matters, and you can help reduce the spread of this disease by following county, state and federal advice about increased personal hygiene and reduced in-person contact. Work from home if you can. Practice social distancing by avoiding large groups and staying 6 feet away from others. Please share this information with your friends and family to help them stay safe and healthy.”
Visit  for the latest updates on COVID-19, or text covid19 to 211211. You will get a text when there is an update.

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