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Ventura County one of 10 in California to receive coronavirus testing materials

Senerey de los Santos/KEYT

OXNARD, Calif. - Testing materials for the coronavirus have been sent to 10 different counties in California, including Ventura County.

The first test was ran on Friday.

“I expect that there is going to be a positive case anywhere from two or three hours from now to two to three weeks from now,” said Ventura County Public Health officer Robert Levin.

Levin stating that it is not a matter of if, but when the Coronavirus will pop in Ventura County.

“I am sure there's people walking around Ventura County, but we have not seen them yet,” said Levin.

But the county’s public health department says they are well equipped to detect the virus, and fast.

“Several weeks ago the federal government provided testing materials to the State of California and the State of California sent those testing materials to 10 counties,” said Dr. Levin. “Ventura County Public health lab was one of those.”

The first set of testing began on Friday. At least 10 different tests have been performed since then.

“Specimens are collected from patients, and up until now the patients had to be very sick, normally in the ICU to get tested,” said Levin. “But the test itself is very simple. It is a simple swab of the nose, and another swab of throat and we use those two materials together to see if there is a presence of the coronavirus.”

Patients are going to the hospital or their physicians to get tested and those samples are then sent to the public health lab in Oxnard. Officials have results within hours.

“We get those results from beginning to end in four hours,” said Dr. Levin. “When it went to the CDC it took anywhere from about 30 hours to 16 days, so this is wonderful to have the test on site here.”

Meanwhile at local stores people are stocking up on supplies.

“I just see a lot of people storing up on a lot of water,” said Bob Davis, who is from Camarillo and was shopping at Costco in Oxnard. “Almost every cart has toilet paper, and paper towels. I just happen to need it, but some people are just like five or six deep on water. The whole water section is empty.”

A few Oxnard Walgreen stores were also completely out of masks and hand sanitizers.

Dr. Levin says he doesn’t feel the public needs to hoard supplies, but they should practice what he called “social distance.”

“That means how it sounds,” said Dr. Levin. “How do we create distance between people so it lowers the chance of transmitting the disease?”

Local pharmacies that we visited were out of masks and hand sanitizers, but Dr. Levin said not to worry.

He says he expects this virus to come but eventually pass and in a few years people will either be immune to it, or an immunization will be developed.

Article Topic Follows: Ventura County

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Senerey de los Santos


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