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Coronavirus

COVID-19 outbreak hits Oxnard farmworker housing facility

FARM WORKERS

OXNARD, Calif. - The Ventura County Public Health Department responded to an outbreak of COVID-19 in a farmworker housing facility in Oxnard.

Public Health said all residents of the facility are being tested for the virus. At this time, about 95 residents have tested positive and 100 are still pending results.

The residents who tested positive are in their 20s and 30s and have mild symptoms. They are being placed under quarantine or isolation depending on their test results.

The Public Health Department, in partnership with the Ventura County Health Care Agency’s Backpack Medicine Team, are providing assistance and guidance for residents of the facility.

“Our team responded immediately once we learned of this outbreak. We will continue to assist those who have tested positive and those who have been exposed. We urge everyone in Ventura County, ranging from individuals and families, to business operators and community leaders to help us stop the increasing trend of community transmission of COVID-19,” said Public Health Director Rigo Vargas

The Public Health Department is reminding community members of the importance of physical distancing, washing hands regularly, not touching your face and not gathering in groups.

“Please use extreme caution as COVID-19 is still prevalent in our County. You are much more likely to run into someone who has no symptoms but is positive if you gather with others. It is best to stay home as much as possible at this time and to follow all prevention protocols in the workplace,” said Public Health Officer Doctor Robert Levin.

In April, the County of Ventura, in collaboration with the County Executive Office, the Farmworker Resource Program, Farm Bureau of Ventura County, Ventura County Agricultural Association, many local growers Rigoberto Vargas, MPH Director Robert Levin, MD Health Officer/Medical Director and the Agricultural Commissioner’s Office, issued an Advisory for agricultural Worker Protection to be used during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The Advisory provided information on employee hygiene, physical distancing and refraining from going to work when sick.

The Agricultural Commissioner’s Office issued 1,000,000 masks to agricultural sites throughout the County to help protect farmworkers from the virus. The County’s Backpack Medicine Team has also provided medical outreach where physicians visit the farms to answer questions, test and provide prevention information.

At this time, farmworkers have made up 2% of all positive cases in Ventura County, this is equal to about 50 cases.

Health / Ventura County

Jessica Brest

Jessica Brest is a digital journalist and assignment editor at KEYT | KCOY | KKFX.