Ventura County Reopens On-Site Food Service

California Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday announced that 53 of California’s 58 counties are now qualified to reopen more businesses in the first phase of phase two, and some of the state’s regions are already in action. While LA’s food service is on hiatus, its neighbor to the northwest can now accommodate guests through Ventura.

Ventura County officials acted quickly, proposing the fast-track reopening waiver with its own supervisory board the night of Gov. Newsom’s announcement and endorsing the move on Tuesday morning. On Wednesday, it was officially approved by the state, making Ventura the first and largest county in SoCal to do so. On-site meals and in-store purchases will be allowed from this Thursday, May 21-although restaurants will need to register with the county first.

“Preparations to protect public health combined with the confidence we have in our business owners and residents place us in an excellent position to move on a fast track,” said Ventura County CEO Mike Powers, in a press release. public statement. “Covid-19 has had devastating effects [sic] impacts on community health and our economy. We want businesses to be able to reopen and we believe they can and will do so safely. “

Of course, safely reopening is key to relaunching restaurants, and to do so, the experience is unlikely to feel a full return to normal, at least initially. Last week, Governor Newsom released a detailed and lengthy set of statewide guidelines that restaurants must follow as food service resumes, including continued bar closings; masks required for all staff who approach within six feet of customers; increase in disinfection stations; the ban on the preparation of table dishes; and stopping all kinds of self-service stations for water, utensils, straws, condiments or napkins, among other guidelines.

In order to gain state approval, Ventura County provided that its key metrics met state requirements: that its rate of hospitalized positive coronavirus patients was less than five percent. over the past week; that county rates fell by at least 3.4% last week; and that his positive test results over the past two weeks are less than eight percent (an official statement says that at least this week the number hovers at 3.5 percent).

In addition to food service, Ventura County’s Phase Two plans include the return of in-store purchases – as opposed to retail delivery and curbside pickup only – as well as a reopening of schools in the city. fall, with modifications. A number of central and northern counties have already applied for phase two approval, including Humboldt County and Nevada County; a shopping list can be found here.

LA County officials recently revealed a timeline for its own reopening, setting a July 4 target for a full return to retail and restaurant operations. Gov. Newsom said California would end up pushing for a statewide reopening, which would likely result in all counties reviving retail and leisure activities, including dining in local areas. restaurants, though it’s unclear when this state-wide push will happen, or whether July 4 would precede or follow Governor Newsom’s initiative.

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