There’s good news for some small businesses, and non-profits in Ventura County which were hard hit by coronavirus.  The County’s Business Assistance Program is going to fund a second round of grants.

So far, more than 5000 businesses, and non-profits applied for help, and 777 have received $5,000 checks.  The program is now going to fund all of the remaining eligible applicants.  County officials say it means more than 3700 small businesses and non-profits will be getting $5,000 grants.

While we’ve been hearing about COVID-19 surges in other parts of the country, the numbers continue to remain on the low side for the Central and South Coasts.

110 new cases were reported in the region Tuesday.  Ventura County had 49, Santa Barbara County 30, and San Luis Obispo County 31.

They are the big COVID-19 questions on a lot of people’s minds.  Will researchers be able to develop an effective vaccine, and if so, when will we get it?

One of the Central and South Coast’s top health officials believes a vaccine will work, but he believes it will be next spring before it is widely available to the public.

Santa Barbara County is one of ten California counties showing enough improvement in its efforts to control coronavirus to set the stage Tuesday for more reopenings.  It’s big news for Santa Barbara County.  It’s been stuck at the state’s most restrictive reopening level, purple, for weeks.

Researchers say efforts to track the status of coronavirus in a South Coast college community also shows a COVID-19 test they’ve developed may be an important new tool in the battle against the virus.

UC Santa Barbara biologist Carolina Arias and a team of colleagues targeted young adults at UCSB, Isla Vista, and Goleta.  More than 1800 volunteers were tested in two batches from May to June, and June to July.

It’s a warm, sunny afternoon. Rosalina Gonzales has picked the perfect time to visit a drive-up coronavirus test location at Moorpark College, but there is no line. 

Health officials on the Central and South Coasts have worked out many of the bugs which initially slowed the coronavirus testing process.

Like many of us on the Central and South Coasts, Tara Zanecki has been counting pennies since the start of the coronavirus crisis.  The Santa Barbara woman works in the hospitality industry, and found herself unemployed.  She says the weekly $600 federal subsidy to unemployment was a lifesaver.

But, the federal subsidy has ended.  The U.S. Labor Department reports that the average unemployed American was receiving $321 in assistance a week.  The $600 brought it to $921 a week.  Now, it’s down to $321. 

Friday was another rough day on the Central and South Coast in the battle against coronavirus, with more than 400 new cases reported.

Ventura County has 269 new cases, Santa Barbara County 133, and San Luis Obispo County 33.  There have now been 13,468 diagnosed cases in the region.

Ventura County’s courts are beginning a phased-in resumption of services.  But, despite the reopening of courtrooms and clerk’s offices, public access to the courthouse will still be limited.

For a second day in a row, the number of new coronavirus cases reported on the Central and South Coasts has been low.

There are now 1145 diagnosed coronavirus cases in the region.

Ventura County health officials say while seniors realize they are at high risk from coronavirus, some people with pre-existing health conditions like asthma aren’t fully aware of the danger.  The county is launching a new education effort targeting those people.

A health care network with five hospitals on the Central and South Coasts has launched a new COVID-19 community hotline. Dignity Health will have nurses staffing the hotline seven days a week. It will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekday, and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekends. After hours, people can leave a message and a nurse will return the call. The hotline is free, and open to everyone.

One South Coast community has announced a number of major changes to Services and city sponsored programs as a result of the coronavirus crisis. The City of Camarillo has dropped all fares on its fixed route bus service during the state of emergency. It will also temporarily offer Dial-A-Ride Service for seniors and those with disabilities for free.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases on the Central and South Coasts continue to grow, now topping 180. There have now been a total of three deaths in the region, all occurring in Ventura County.

A South Coast hospital is reporting that it has 26 patients who have been tested for coronavirus, including three confirmed positives.

Officials with Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital say in addition to the three people who have tested positive, they have what are described as 23 inpatients for whom test results are pending.   Nine of the patients are reported to be in critical condition.

The hospital reports that it's set up four patient units as isolation areas for potential, or confirmed COVID-19 cases.