April 3: Ojai Police Chief Jose Rivera and Ojai City Manager James Vega give local COVID-19 update

4 3 LEVINooOjai Police Chief Jose Rivera and Ojai City Manager James Vega gave an update on Friday, April 3, on local measures regarding COVID-19: 

To view the city's website with this information and more from previous press releases and updates, visit: 


To view the videotaped message from Chief Rivera and City Manager Vega, visit:


To further combat the spread of COVID-19, Ventura County public Health Officer Dr. Robert Levin has issued a “Stay Well at Home” emergency order — ordering all residents of the county of Ventura to stay inside their residences, and immediately limit all movement outside of their homes beyond what is absolutely necessary to take care of essential needs.

The order is effective March 20, 2020, at 11:59 pm through April 20, 2020, 11:59 pm.

On March 31, the Public Health officer for the county of Ventura issued an extended and updated “Stay Well at Home Order.”  The order extends the expiration date to April 19, 2020.

To read the modified order, visit:



Residents of the county of Ventura are required to stay inside their homes unless they are engaged in certain “essential activities.” On those occasions when you are out of your home for necessary tasks, stay at least six feet away from others.


Go to the grocery store
Go to the pharmacy to pick up medications and other healthcare necessities
Go to medical appointments (check with your doctor or provider first)
Go to a restaurant for take-out, delivery or drive-thru
Care or support a friend or family member
Walk your pets and take them to the veterinarian if necessary
Help someone to get necessary supplies

Go to work unless you are providing essential services as defined by this Order
Visit friends and family if there is no urgent need
Maintain less than 6 feet of distance from others when you go out, as possible
Travel to or from a job outside the County, unless to perform essential activities
Travel to or from a vacation home outside the County
Visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, skilled nursing facility, or other residential care facility


The City Council and staff at the city of Ojai and the Ojai Police Station are focused on responding to critical needs related to the Coronavirus. We wanted to take this time to tell you about some of the latest news, and actions here in Ojai related to this issue.

There are some important items for city and valley residents:

First, the order requires more specific procedures for take-out restaurants. It requires that all food be in a suitable container. For example, it notes that ice cream cones are not allowed, but ice cream scoops in a covered container are allowed. It also requires that food be consumed away from premises, and that persons waiting in line, whether within a restaurant or outside of a restaurant, must maintain a distance of 6 feet from others.

The notice also requires that essential businesses now limit their activities to essential goods and services. This means that the non-essential activities of a store shall stop. This is typically seen with big box stores, where they remained completely open and sold both essential and non-essential items.

The order also orders all public and private campgrounds and RV parks to close, except for persons who certify that their RV is their primary residence. Please see the full order at

The coronavirus and these public health orders are requiring us to reconsider several activities within the City of Ojai. Two activities that we will be modifying to increase social and physical distancing this week include the Farmer’s Market and the Hiking Trails.

Regarding the Farmers' Market, you may have heard that the city was working with the Farmer’s Market Management to put some restrictions in place that require more social distancing, and to avoid crowds. The city has been working with the Farmers' Market management throughout the week. Although we worked out some issues, as you may have read in the Ojai Valley News on April 3, ultimately, on April 2, we determined that there were still crowded areas that could not be managed at the current location.

We attempted to move the Farmers' Market to a larger location where the booths can be spread out, but both the city and the Farmers' Market management felt that more time would be needed to resolve these issues. We will continue to work with the Farmer’s Market to put a plan in place and seek an alternative location that addresses any social distancing issues, but at this time, the Farmers' Market is closed.

Regarding the trails, we have been closely monitoring the hiking trails over the last couple of weeks. We did notice an uptick in traffic on North Signal Street over the last two weekends, and had concerns that the parking areas would be congested and lead to a lack of social distancing. Beginning April 3, to address this issue, we will be closing North Signal Street, and only allowing local traffic, on the weekends. We will place signage on the streets, and we’re also using smartphone applications to indicate the road closure. We expect that this should reduce the number of people driving out and concentrating in one area.

We do not make these decisions lightly. We know that these decisions have a real impact on residents and businesses. However, the health and safety of our community is our priority. We are in a critical period of the fight against COVID-19. By acting now, we are fighting the spread, and these sacrifices could ultimately save lives. Please continue to stay home, wash your hands, and practice social and physical distancing when performing essential tasks. We are currently working on some additional resources, such as COVID safe construction guidelines. Please continue to check or  for the latest information and updates.

Ventura County Public Health Officer changes position on face masks

Ventura County Public Health Officer Dr. Robert Levin supports residents who wish to cover their nose and mouth when leaving home for essential travel to doctor appointments, grocery shopping or pharmacy visits. The face coverings should not be hospital grade at this time because there is a shortage and our health professionals need them. Masks should be homemade and cover the nose and mouth. There are numerous sites online which demonstrate or give patterns for how to make fabric masks. The Camarillo Sewing Brigade provides video instruction at the following link:

Additional instruction at the following link:

Fabric masks can be washed and used again.


Additional instruction at the following link:


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