Press Release - 12-07-2020

Counties of Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Seek to Exit State’s Large Southern California Region Under the Stay Home Order to Create Smaller Central Coast Region

Ventura, CA – The County of Ventura, Santa Barbara County and San Luis Obispo County will be seeking State approval to separate from the large Southern California Region under the State’s Stay Home Order to create a smaller tri-county Central Coast Region. The Counties will be submitting a unified request for the smaller regional approach if the tri-county ICU capacity exceeds 15% in the next three weeks. At that time the Counties will request to be assessed based on the tri-county ICU capacity and not the Southern California Regional ICU capacity.

“A smaller regional approach is important for our community members and struggling businesses. We believe it’s reasonable to have the Central Coast as one region instead of including our County with over half the State’s population in the current Southern California Region,” said County Executive Officer Mike Powers. “This is a critical time to work together to bring the numbers down, save lives and save businesses. Allowing our local tri-counties to meet the State’s metrics collectively provides a better opportunity for our Central Coast Region to move forward safely.”

Currently, the Southern California Region includes more than 23.1 million people and 11 Counties. The smaller Central Coast Region would include approximately 1.5 million people.

The high prevalence of disease in the large southern California counties could prevent the three counties from exiting the Regional Stay At Home Order under the current Southern California Regional approach. Being kept in the Southern California Region any longer could cause preventable educational and economic hardships to communities in the Central Coast Region.

Allowing this change will not have a significant impact on the ICU availability rates of the remaining counties in the Southern California Region, given their much larger size and populations; yet it will have a tremendous impact on the Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo communities. This change would neither affect the tri-county commitment to assist other counties in the Southern California region or elsewhere during this critical time.

More information about the Stay Home Order can be found at: https://covid19.ca.gov/stay-home-except-for-essential-needs/. Local information at www.venturacountyrecovers.org.


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