Ventura County Moves to Red Tier

Easing restrictions for specific industries and activities following State issued guidance

Ventura, CA – The County of Ventura will move to the State’s Red Tier beginning 12:01 am Wednesday, March 17, 2021. “This is great news for our community and an opportunity to work together to support our local businesses as we move forward in reopening our economy,” said County Executive Officer, Michael Powers.

In alignment with the state’s reopening framework, masking, distancing and infection control practices remain in place.

“We are pleased to see case counts declining, vaccination rates increasing, and a continued commitment by our residents to wearing masks, social distancing, and staying outdoors as much as possible when interacting with people outside their household,” said Public Health Officer Doctor Robert Levin. “This is a pivotal moment: if our community continues to be cautious and follow public health guidance, things will continue to improve. If people let down their guard and begin engaging in risky activities, we will likely see another surge in cases.”

The State’s Blueprint tracks three metrics: the seven-day adjusted case rate, the seven-day testing positivity rate and the health equity metric. Ventura County’s case rate is 6.5, testing positivity is 2.8% (orange tier) and health equity testing positivity is 5.0% (orange).

Moving from the purple tier into the red tier for the County means:

  • Restaurants can open indoors with 25 percent capacity or a maximum of 100 people, whichever is fewer. The 11 pm closure requirement is lifted. The single household dining limitation is lifted. State gathering guidance limits gatherings to 3 households or less.
  • Retail establishments can open indoors at 50 percent capacity.
  • Indoor Shopping Malls can increase capacity to 50 percent with common areas remaining closed; food courts can open at 25 percent capacity adhering to the restaurant guidance for indoor dining.
  • Movie theaters can open indoors with 25 percent capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer.
  • Gyms, Fitness Centers, Yoga and Dance Studios can open indoors with 10 percent capacity with 6-ft social distancing instead of the previous requirement of 12 ft.
  • Museums, zoos, and aquariums can open indoor activities at 25 percent capacity.
  • Breweries, wineries and distilleries that do not serve meals can open outdoors only with modifications. The modifications include ensuring that patrons have reservations and patrons observe a 90-minute time limit. Service for on-site consumption must end by 8:00 p.m.
  • Bars that do not serve meals remain closed in the Purple and Red tiers.
  • Private gatherings can occur both outdoors and indoors with up to 3 separate households.
  • Schools are permitted to re-open for in-person instruction adhering to all state and county directives. This includes grades 7-12. Grades kindergarten - 6 already had the option of opening.
  • Family entertainment centers (kart racing, mini-golf, batting cages) can open outdoors with modifications.
  • Personal care services can continue to operate indoors following state guidance.

The County is aligned with the state issued guidance in all areas. For details and sector-specific health guidance, visit covid19.ca.gov.

Additional updated guidance:

  • Golf carts do not need a partition between members of different households. They are recommended but not required.
  • Local HOA pool guidance has been lifted. HOA pools are encouraged to follow suggested County guidance. Public or community pools continue to follow state issued guidance.
  • 2 swimmers per lane are permitted in a public outdoor swimming pool.
  • Wind instruments are allowed outdoors with bell covers and 6 feet distance between instruments. There must be 20 feet distance at a minimum between the instruments and the audience.

"The credit belongs to our residents, who have made many sacrifices and worked hard to improve our community transmission metrics,” said Public Health Director Rigoberto Vargas. “That same hard work must continue moving forward so that we don’t revert back to the purple tier and instead continue making progress towards the next tier, orange, so that various sectors can increase their capacity and additional activities can take place.”

For more information please visit www.venturacountyrecovers.org or by calling the COVID Business Compliance line at 805-202-1805.

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