OXNARD, Calif. – After worrying about the coronavirus for a year and a half, Ventura County Public Health says Tuesday's statewide reopening brings a sense of relief and accomplishment.
“After a year and a half of going through what we all went through, [Tuesday], with alignment with the state, we will be fully open,” said Rigo Vargas, Ventura County Public Health Director.
Ventura County Public Health is getting ready for Tuesday's full reopening in California. Counties across the state will no longer follow the color-coded tier system for reopening. Most businesses can open indoors with no capacity limits or physical distancing. Masks will only be required in certain situations and mainly for those who are not vaccinated.
“We are really looking forward to individuals doing the right thing. So if they are not fully-vaccinated, again for their protection and the protection of others, especially indoors, if they would please go ahead and mask up,” said Vargas. “We are not going to do a vaccination passport.”
The reopening comes as the county's transmission rate is very low, but health experts stress that COVID-19 is still out there. As of Monday, nine people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in Ventura County, two of them in the intensive care unit.
“These nine individuals, I am not sure of their vaccination status and we will look into that,” said Vargas.
Vaccination and testing numbers are decreasing, but the county will still offer both services for free. Even though many COVID-19 rules will become a thing of the past – people who get sick need to take precautions.
“We are now going to do business as usual for communal disease control and prevention at the county level,” said Vargas. “We will continue to do contact investigation and tracing and recommend testing and recommend isolation and quarantine.”