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Chief Executive Officer Mike Powers. (Photo courtesy Ventura County)
Wednesday, October 20, 2021

By Chris Frost

Tri County Sentry


Ventura-- Public Health Officer Dr. Robert Levin announced during the Board of Supervisors Meeting Tuesday, October 19, that the masking order is extended and will continue in Ventura County until three conditions are met.


"When Ventura County reaches the moderate (yellow) Covid-19 transmission tier as defined by the CDC (Center for Disease Control), and that is a rate of 7 per 100,000, and it remains there for three weeks," he said. "Two, when Covid-19 hospitalizations in the county are low and stable. I think we are pretty close to meeting this criterion now. For number three, one of these two conditions is met. Eight weeks have passed since a Covid-19 vaccination has been authorized for emergency use by the FDA, CDC, and the Western Group, the state authority for 5-11-year-olds, or 80 percent of the county's total population has been fully vaccinated with two doses of Pfizer or Moderna or one dose of Johnson and Johnson. This is achievable."


Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mike Powers said the Covid-19 numbers are trending in a good direction.


"The positivity rate overall is 2.3 percent, and also the equity rate in low-income communities are very favorable at 2.2 percent," he said. "We continue to have one of the best vaccination rates in the state and the nation. We have 82 percent of county residents ages 18 and over have received at least one dose, and 73.9 percent of people 12 and over are fully vaccinated."


He said 92.6 percent of people age 65 and over received at least one dose of the vaccine.


"In this last week, this number is trending in a good direction," Powers said. "We had 12,684 vaccinations in this last week. With the effort of public health, community organizations, pop-ups, and everything, all of that, they just keep doing the work week-after-week."


Over 1,116,254 vaccines (first and second dose) have been administered in the county.


He said rental assistance applications are way up; over $115 million was applied for by the community.


"Our business assistance is up close to $72 million, and we're recommending that we add funds later today for our final phase four of our business assistance grants," he said.


Public Health Director Rigo Vargas reviewed the mobile vaccination clinics and equity efforts in the areas hardest hit by Covid-19.


"Certainly, we're all over the county even if we're not doing as many vaccination clinics that we did before," he said. "We appreciate the mobile team being so flexible and available and doing this for several months. The staff is outstanding in offering these clinics."


He said the case rate is going down for the vaccinated and unvaccinated.


"You see, the unvaccinated have a five-fold higher case rate, 20 versus four," he said. "Our official case rate at the time we made the graphic was 10, and yesterday, we were at 9.55, and today, we'll probably be at 9.5. We're really trying to reach 7. If we had everyone eligible vaccinated, we would be under 7. The case rate for the vaccinated is four."


He said as of October 18, 34 people have been hospitalized, and 7.6 percent are fully vaccinated, and 3.3 percent of fully vaccinated people have been admitted to the hospital.