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Ventura County Health Official Warns Coronavirus Crisis Close To Spinning Out Of Control


Coronavirus is surging statewide, including here at home, on the Central and South Coasts.

200 new cases were reported in the region Wednesday, including 99 in Ventura County.  Ventura County’s Public Health Officer says we are at a critical point in efforts to contain it.  Dr. Robert Levin says with the reopening of much of the economy, many people are acting like the crisis is over, when it’s not.

This week, the state had the biggest numbers of new cases since the start of the crisis.  There were six thousand reported Tuesday, and 7100 Wednesday.  The numbers were down slightly on Thursday, with just over 5300 cases reported.

On Tuesday and Wednesday combined, Ventura County had had 240 new cases, and Santa Barbara County 144.  Ventura County has a total of 2260 cases, Santa Barbara County 2590, and San Luis Obispo County 473.

About a thousand of Santa Barbara County’s cases are linked to the federal prison complex in Lompoc.  Most people have already recovered, but there have been 72 coronavirus related deaths in the region.

While there have been questions about the impacts of people being out for Memorial Day weekend, and protest marches, Dr. Levin says he’s concerned people are just being lax when it comes to things like social distancing.  Dr. Levin says we are on a very dangerous path. 

The county’s public health officer says if we can’t get it in check ourselves, the state will eventually act, and roll back some reopenings, which would be devastating to parts of the already damaged economy.

This comes against the backdrop of more reopenings in Ventura County.  Personal care services like nail salons have the green light to reopen with precautions.  Movie theaters can reopen Friday, will limits on capacity, and other safety steps.

Dr. Levin says while there are some who thing coronavirus concerns are overblown, he’s less worried about them than what he says are the vast numbers of people who see the danger, but have been slacking off with precautions

Dr. Levin says controlling the surge isn’t something government can do.  He says it’s up to us as individuals.

Levin admits his warning won’t sit well with some people.  But, he says he needs to speak when it can still make a difference in Ventura County.

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