VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. - Ventura County is the latest county in our area to be allowed to move forward in Stage 2 of the state's reopening plan.
The approval from the state gives Ventura County the ability to start reopening and allowing some experiences that have been off limits for months due to the coronavirus pandemic. These include shopping inside some non-essential stores and the ability to eat in restaurants, with certain restrictions in place.
Ventura County submitted their paperwork earlier this week, attesting that the County meets the criteria set aside in Governor Gavin Newsom's updated guidelines.
The criteria requires each County to confirm that hospitalization and test positivity rates are stable or declining; that they have a significant level of testing, contact tracing, PPE and hospital surge capacity; and that they have adequate plans related to county-wide containment.
It also requires the rate of positive COVID-19 patients hospitalized cannot be greater than 5% in the last 7 days. Ventura County's rate is down 3.4% in the past 7 days. In addition, positive test results for the last 14 days must be below 8%. Ventura County currently sits at 3.5%.
“We want our community to reopen safely. Community members and businesses must continue to practice social distancing to lower the risk of COVID-19 exposure. This will help keep our numbers low so we can continue to move forward in reopening businesses throughout our County,” said Ventura County Public Health Officer Doctor Robert Levin.
Earlier on Wednesday, San Luis Obispo County Supervisors Lynn Compton announced that SLO County would be allowed to move forward in Stage 2 of California's "Resilience Roadmap."
The two counties join dozens of other California counties who have been given the green light to move forward in Stage 2. As of 4:20 p.m. Wednesday, Santa Barbara County has not yet been given the go ahead.
Ventura County is the largest county so far to be approved to move forward in Stage 2.
Currently, there are 858 cases of COVID-19 in Ventura County.
County officials held their Wednesday news briefing at 1 p.m.