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Dr. Levin: VC faces 'tsunami of cases'

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Ventura County Public Health Officer Dr. Robert Levin made a report at the Ventura County Board of Supervisors meeting on March 31, warning that as many as 1,000 Ventura County residents could die from COVID-19.
He said it will take three to seven weeks before COVID-19 peaks in Ventura County.
Fortunately, he said, Public Health orders restricting activities have had a positive effect on slowing the spread of COVID-19 in Ventura County thus far. 
As of  April 3, there were 189 reported total cases and six deaths throughout the county, including three in Ojai and one in Oak View. Ventura County Public Health reported:
— 12 new cases
— 189 total cases
— 50 recovered cases
— 42 people have ever been hospitalized from COVID-19
— 135 active cases under quarantine
— 6 deaths (five people in their 70s and one in his or her 80s, all with pre-existing conditions)
As of the latest numbers provided April 3, there were 3,537 people tested.

 

Levin said that although Ventura County, overall, is doing well in social distancing, especially in comparison with other California counties, a number of places are not doing what needs to be done, and some individuals not doing what they need to do, to socially distance.
He continued: "This thing is important. We are facing a tsunami of cases. We saw 20-some odd new cases yesterday (March 30). That might seem small in a couple three weeks when we are seeing 200 or 400 in a day. That's going to have a huge impact on our hospitals; it's going to have a huge impact on our death rate. We have approximately 12 people who have died this year from influenza in our county. Our biggest year that I know of in the last 21 years was two years ago when we had 49 people that died from influenza. We could potentially have a thousand people die in our county from COVID.”
He said it is possible that separate wings of long-term care facilities — separate from the facilities' residents — could be used to house some hospital patients who are recovering, but still COVID-19 positive, in order to open up extra hospital beds.
Dr. Levin emphasized the importance of caring for older residents during this pandemic, as they are especially vulnerable. He then spoke of three semi-trucks filled with personal protective equipment for healthcare workers arriving in Ventura County recently, although he noted there is still a shortage. "You have to ask ourselves," he said, "what an amazing country we have. Where do we come up with this? How do we do this? Then we have to ask ourselves: Who gave us this remarkable country? And I think we have to say— our elders did — so I think we owe it to them."
Rigoberto Vargas, Public Health director of the Ventura County Health Care Agency, said there have been more than 1,500 calls to the 2-1-1 information line.
Steve Carroll, administrator of Ventura County Emergency Medical Services, said that emergency medical technicians are now wearing personal protective equipment for all patient contacts.
He also reported that about 50 ventilators are being taken out of storage for Ventura County hospitals, and he is seeking more, although they are few and far between.
He said hospitals are working on increasing their number of beds and that cots are being collected to add more capacity.

 

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Also, on March 31, Levin issued a modified "Stay Well at Home" Order, ordering further limitations on activities and business to help reduce the number of rising COVID-19 cases.

The order is reproduced here.

To read the modified order, visit: https://vcportal.ventura.org/covid19/docs/March_31_2020_Order.pdf

 

The modified order extends Ventura County Public Health Officer Dr. Robert Levin’s previous orders of March 17 and 20 and extends them to April 19. It also imposes additional limitations on activities and entities. 
Dr. Levin’s order remains in place, except where inconsistent with more restrictive limitations set out in this order.
Violation or failure to comply with this order is a misdemeanor, punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both.

 

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The order includes:

— Procedures for takeout restaurants and entities. 
Licensed, permanent food facilities that have been allowed to prepare and offer food via delivery service, pick-up or drive-thru must comply with the following procedures:
a. Containers required.
b. Must consume food away from premises.
c. 6-foot spacing must be maintained.
— Essential businesses must limit activities to essential goods and services.
— Swimming pools and hot tubs to close, except those at a single-family residence, which shall be used only by members of the household, residing at the single-family residence.
— Campgrounds and RV parks to close. Only those who certify that their RV is their primary residence may be permitted to stay in the RV park.
— All county parks were closed as of 5 p.m. March 31.
— Long-term care facilities may not refuse to admit any person who has been diagnosed with or treated for COVID-19 after that person has been discharged from a healthcare facility and approved for admittance to a long-term care facility by the Ventura County Public Health Department.
— Door-to-door solicitations must cease.

Also, on March 31, the Ventura County Office of Emergency Services has released a new map showing the numbers of COVID-19 cases in Ventura County:

 https://vcoes.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/b0c21ac2a7ed47c1bb01aa9267962401 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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