VENTURA, Calif. - The Ventura County Public Health Department is ordering strong restrictions to the elderly and local businesses.
Earlier this week, Ventura County issued new guidelines and strict orders. Anyone 75 years or older is ordered to stay at home at least until April 1.
“The highest risk group in our county is the elderly,” said Dr. Robert Levin, Ventura County Public Health Officer. “The older you are, the higher risk you are. When you are that old, even if you are in perfect health, your immune system is kind of old.”
Dr. Levin says this doesn’t just apply to the elderly, but also to younger people with health issues.
“Health issues like heart disease, lung disease, high blood pressure and cancer,” said Dr. Levin.
Dr. Levin says he doesn’t recommend people over the age of 70 to go to the grocery store, but does say it is still OK for them to get their exercise in as long as they stay six feet away from others.
“If you are healthy enough you can take two or three mile walks,” said Dr. Levin. “Here in Ventura County we are blessed when you get out of the center city and get into the outskirts you can go a couple three miles and not run into anyone.”
Ventura County has also added restrictions on local businesses. Movie theaters, bowling alleys, concert venues and gyms are all now closed. Fuzion Fitness owner Ana Moreno says she’s improvising with this new norm.
“Even though our doors will be closed our hearts and our services will still be open,” Moreno said. “We will be providing exercise classes online and also going live on instagram.”
Bars are closed as well as sit-down dining in restaurants.
“It affects us in several aspects,” said Marco Valdovinos, who is the owner at Braxton’s Kitchen in Camarillo. “Right now there seems to be a lot of uncertainty. The rules keep changing and they are changing with very little notice. We have a staff here that we want to try to support, they have families and they are also asking questions and it is hard not having the answers.”
Valdovinos says he as well as a lot of other local businesses are trying to keep things as normal as possible.
“We are extending our hours and trying to encourage online orders, we are doing third party delivers and we might even have our staff do some deliveries.”
Restrictions will remain in place through April. Violation of any of the orders is considered a threat to public health and a misdemeanor.