COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility to expand to 50+ April 1 and 16+ April 15
Ventura, CA – The State of California has announced that vaccine eligibility will expand April 1 to those 50 or older and to those 16 or older April 15. “This is exciting news for our residents. The County is aligning itself with the State on this expanded rollout and we are hopeful more vaccines will be coming soon so appointments can be secured,” said Chair of the Board of Supervisors Linda Parks.
The County received 14,090 vaccines during the week of March 22. Appointments for 1st and 2nd doses quickly filled. The number of community members who are currently eligible exceeds the amount of vaccines provided to the County. The next shipment will include 18,000 doses. More than 36% of eligible community members have received the COVID-19 vaccine. More than 360,000 vaccine doses have been administered.
“We are eager to expand eligibility and have built the capacity to get the vaccines administered quickly but supply continues to be an issue. Several hundred thousand community members will be eligible by mid-April. We hope that the expansion of the eligibility will match the supply from the State,” said County Executive Officer Mike Powers.
The vaccine appointment system is transitioning to the state’s My Turn platform. All County sites will be on the new system by March 27. My Turn requires individuals who sign up for a two-dose series (Pfizer or Moderna) to schedule both appointments together at myturn.ca.gov. They will receive a confirmation via email or text that includes appointment information along with a confirmation code. Instructions are included in these confirmations on how to cancel or change appointments. For those who don’t have access to email or text messaging, they can schedule and confirm appointments via the MyTurn phone line at 833-422-4255. The My Turn support line also assists in answering basic questions and looking up appointments to confirm details.
Anyone who had registered for their first dose on VC Recovers will need to make their corresponding second dose appointment the same way when eligible at www.venturacountyrecovers.org. All sites are still by appointment only for eligible groups that live or work in Ventura County. The County’s current assistance line 805-477-7161 may continue to support the community in making second dose appointments. Community members making new appointments for 1st and 2nd dose will need to call the My Turn phone line.
“We’re concerned it may be frustrating to many people anxious to get this vaccine with what is still relatively limited supply. We’ll make every dose available as soon as we get it,” said Public Health Officer Doctor Robert Levin.
Public Information Officer
Office of the CEO
County of Ventura |Hall of Administration
800 South Victoria Avenue | 4th Floor
Ventura, CA 93009-0001 (805) 654-2640
Ventura County Business Assistance Grant Program
$5,000 Grants Available for Eligible Businesses and Non Profit Organizations
The County of Ventura is launching a second COVID-19 Business Assistance Grant Program for businesses and nonprofit organizations that did not receive a grant during the County's first program in 2020. A $5,000 grant will be awarded to selected organizations that meet the eligibility requirements.
Application Window: Wednesday, March 31st, 8:00 AM - Tuesday April 6th, 6:00 PM
Pre-Application Period: March 24 - March 30
Please note that this application is not based on first come first served. Apply ANYTIME before the April 6th deadline!
To be eligible, applicants must provide the following documents:
For more information including a list of non-eligible businesses, how recipients will be determined, and eligible uses for the funds, click here.
Applications for the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program OPEN on DECEMBER 30th.
Here is information you need to know:
For updated information visit: https://careliefgrant.com/
INFORMATION NEEDED AT THE TIME OF APPLICATION
Get your documentation in order to be prepared to apply when the application window opens.
Necessary documents :
1. Application Certification: Signed certification used to certify your business
2. Business Financial Information:
a. Most recent tax return filed (2019 or 2018) – provided in an electronic form for online upload, such as PDF/JPEG or other approved upload format.
b. Copy of official filing with the California Secretary of State, if applicable, or local municipality for the business such as one of the following: Articles of Incorporation, Certificate of Organization, Fictitious Name of Registration or Government-Issued Business License.
3. Government Issued Photo ID: Such as a Driver’s License or Passport
One complete application will qualify you to be considered for both rounds, please only apply once.
Applying through multiple organizations will delay your application from being processed.
Owners of multiple businesses, franchises, locations, etc. will be considered for only one grant and are required to apply for the business with the highest revenue.
The amount of grant funding ranges from $5,000 to $25,000. Businesses are eligible based on their
annual revenue as documented in their most recent tax return:
Eligible Businesses Annual Revenue / Grant Amount Available Per Business
$1,000 to $100,000 / $5,000
Greater than $100,000 up to $1,000,000 / $15,000
Greater than $1,000,000 up to $2,500,000 / $25,000
A small business or small nonprofit must satisfy the following criteria to be eligible to receive a grant award:
1. Must meet the definition of an “eligible small business”. An “eligible small business” means (i) a “small business” (sole proprietor, independent contractor, 1099 work, and or registered “for-profit” business entity (e.g., C-corporation, S-corporation, limited liability company, partnership) that has yearly gross revenue of $2.5 million or less (but at least $1,000 in yearly gross revenue) based on most recently filed tax return) or (ii) a “small nonprofit” (registered 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) nonprofit entity having yearly gross revenue of $2.5 million or less (but at least $1,000 in yearly gross revenue) based on most recently filed Form 990)
2. Active businesses or nonprofits operating since at least June 1, 2019
3. Businesses must currently be operating or have a clear plan to re-open once the State of California permits re-opening of the business
4. Business must be impacted by COVID-19 and the health and safety restrictions such as business interruptions or business closures incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
5. Business must be able to provide organizing documents including 2018 or 2019 tax returns or Form 990s, copy of official filing with the California Secretary of State, if applicable, or local municipality for the business such as one of the following: Articles of Incorporation, Certificate of Organization, Fictitious Name of Registration or Government-Issued Business License
6. Business must be able to provide acceptable form of government-issued photo ID
7. Applicants with multiple business entities, franchises, locations, etc. are not eligible for multiple grants and are only allowed to apply once using their eligible small business with the highest revenue
HOW WILL GRANTS BE DETERMINED?
First, applications will be reviewed to determine whether the applicant meets the eligibility requirements. Eligible businesses will then be scored based on COVID-19 impact factors incorporated into the Program’s priority criteria so that distribution can take into account priority key factors, including the following:
1. Geographic distribution based on COVID-19 health and safety restrictions following California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy and county status and the new Regional Stay At Home Order;
2. Industry sectors most impacted by the pandemic; and
3. Underserved small business groups served by the State supported network of small business centers (i.e., businesses majority owned and run on a daily basis by women, minorities/persons of color, veterans and businesses located in low-to-moderate income and rural communities).
1. Businesses without a physical location in California
2. Nonprofit businesses not registered as either a 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6)
3. Government entities (other than Native American tribes) or elected official offices
4. Businesses primarily engaged in political or lobbying activities (regardless of whether such entities qualify as a 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6))
5. Passive businesses, investment companies and investors who file a Schedule E on their personal tax returns
6. Churches and other religious institutions (regardless of whether such entities qualify as a 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6))
7. Financial businesses primarily engaged in the business of lending, such as banks, finance companies and factoring companies
8. Businesses engaged in any activity that is illegal under federal, state or local law
9. Businesses of a prurient sexual nature, including businesses which present live performances of a prurient sexual nature and businesses which derive directly or indirectly more than de minimis gross revenue through the sale of products or services, or the presentation of any depictions or displays, of a prurient sexual nature
10. Businesses engaged in any socially undesirable activity or activity that may be considered predatory in nature such as rent-to-own businesses and check cashing businesses
11. Businesses that restrict patronage for any reason other than capacity
12. Speculative businesses
13. Businesses of which any owner of greater than 10% of the equity interest in it (i) has within the prior three-years been convicted of or had a civil judgment rendered against such owner, or has had commenced any form of parole or probation (including probation before judgment), for commission of fraud or a criminal offense in connection with obtaining, attempting to obtain, or performing a public (federal, state or local) transaction or contract under a public transaction; violation of federal or state anti-trust or procurement statutes or commission of embezzlement, theft, forgery, bribery, falsification or destruction of records, making false statements, or receiving stolen property, or (ii) is presently indicted for or otherwise criminally or civilly charged by a government entity, (federal, state or local) with commission of any of the offenses enumerated in subparagraph (i) above
14. “Affiliated” companies (as such term is defined in 13 C.F.R. § 121.103)
15. Multiple business entities, franchises, locations, etc. are not eligible for multiple grants and are only allowed to apply once using their eligible small business with the highest revenue
Ventura County is in the Southern California region for the Regional Stay At Home Order, which also includes Imperial, Inyo, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Ventura. For updates on current capacity, visit https://covid19.ca.gov/stay-home-except-for-essential-need
The Region's ICU availability number fell below the 15% (to 13.1%) late Friday, which triggers the Regional Stay At Home Order to go into effect 24 hours from December 5 at 1:00 PM (Sunday, December 6 at 1:00 PM)
What does the Regional Stay At Home Order do?
The Regional Stay Home Order would be in effect for 3 weeks after the trigger and instructs Californians to stay at home as much as possible to limit the mixing with other households that can lead to COVID-19 spread. It allows access to (and travel for) critical services and allows outdoor activities to preserve Californians’ physical and mental health. This limited closure will help stop the surge and prevent overwhelming regional ICU capacity.
In any region that triggers a Regional Stay Home Order because it drops below 15% ICU capacity, the following sectors must close:
The Order does not modify existing state guidance regarding K-12 schools.
Schools that are currently open are able to continue to provide in-person instruction on school sites.
How is the available ICU capacity calculated?
Hospitals are required to submit information on the total number of available staffed ICU beds daily. This includes both existing staffed ICU beds and staffed ICU surge beds. To calculate regional ICU capacity the total number of adult ICU beds is calculated by removing neonatal ICU beds (NICU) and pediatric intensive care unit beds (PICU) as well as standardizing current adult ICU capacity. Consistent with the goal of the Regional Stay-at-Home Order, this calculation ensures that sufficient ICU bed capacity is available for COVID and non-COVID related conditions.
As of December 4, 2020 the ICU capacity is calculated as described above.
Immediate Assistance for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 Including Temporary Tax Relief and $500 Million in Grants Announced by State of California
On November 30, Governor Newsom announced a program providing immediate assistance for businesses impacted by COVID-19.
The program provides tax relief for businesses impacted by COVID-19 though the following actions:
The program also announced $500 million for new COVID relief grant for small businesses administered by the California Office of the Small Business Advocate for small businesses that have been impacted by COVID and the health and safety restrictions. Funds would be awarded to selected intermediaries with established networks of Community Development Financial Institutions to distribute relief through grants of up to $25,000 to underserved micro and small businesses throughout the state by early 2021. Non-profits would also be eligible for these grants. CalOSBA is establishing the program and will make it available as soon as possible -- for updates on availability, sign up HERE.
The California Rebuilding Fund, announced last week, made available $25 million to help impacted small businesses rebuild from the economic crisis and keep local economies strong. This program is built to be a resource in the market for the next year as businesses pivot and recover. This program will increase funding for the California Rebuilding Fund by $12.5 million. The additional funding will help the 3rd party administrator of the fund raise $125 million to make more low-interest loans to small businesses with less access to loans from traditional banking institutions. Sign up for updates on the California Rebuilding Fund programs HERE.
To read the full press release from the office of the Governor, click here.
To view updates for businesses and employers from the State, click here.
Effective November 16, the California Department of Public Health issued an updated guidance for the use of face coverings, mandating that a face covering is required at all times when outside of the home, with some exceptions.
Some exemptions include:
The following individuals are exempt from wearing face coverings at all times:
Read more here: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/guidance-for-face-coverings.aspx
California voters had an opportunity to vote on 14 ballot measures during the 2020 General Presidential Election. An overview with the results of these ballot measures are outlined below:
Prop 14: Stem Cell Research Institute Bond Initiative
Proposition 14 was approved by voters with a 51.1% YES vote. This measure will issue $5.5 billion in general obligation funds for the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), which was established to fund stem cell research. The bond funds, less 7.5 percent for operational costs, would be spent on grants to entities that conduct research, trials, and programs related to stem cells, as well as start-up costs for facilities.
Proposition 15: Tax on Commercial and Industrial Properties for Education and Local Government
Proposition 15 was not approved by voters with a 52% NO vote. This measure would have increased funding for K-12 public schools, community colleges, and local governments by requiring that commercial and industrial real estate property be taxed on current market value.
Proposition 16: Repeal Proposition 209 Affirmative Action Amendment
Proposition 16 was not approved by voters with a 57.1% NO vote. This measure would have repealed Prop. 209, passed in 1996, from the California Constitution. Proposition 209 stated that discrimination and preferential treatment were prohibited in public employment, public education, and public contracting on account of a person's or group's race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin. Proposition 209 banned the use of affirmative action involving race-based or sex-based preferences in California.
Proposition 17: Voting Rights Restoration for Persons on Parole Amendment
Proposition 17 was approved by voters with a 58.6% YES vote. This measure will amend the California constitution to allow people on parole for felony convictions to vote in California.
Proposition 18: Primary Voting for 17-Year-Olds Amendment
Proposition 18 was not approved by voters with a 56% NO vote. This measure would have allowed 17-year-olds who will be 18 at the time of the next general election to vote in primary elections and special elections.
Proposition 19: Property Tax Transfers, Exemptions, and Revenue for Wildfire Agencies and Counties Amendment
Proposition 19 was approved by voters with a 51.1% YES vote. This measure will permit homeowners who are 55, severely disabled, or whose homes were destroyed by wildfire or disaster, to transfer their primary residence's property tax base value to a replacement residence of any value, anywhere in the state.
Proposition 20: Criminal Sentencing, Parole and DNA Collection Initiative
Proposition 20 was not approved by voters with a 61.8% NO vote. This measure would have limited access to parole programs established for non violent offenders who have completed the full term of their primary offense by eliminating eligibility for certain offenses. It would authorize felony charges for specified theft crimes currently chargeable only as misdemeanors, including some theft crimes where the value is between $250 and $500.
Proposition 21: Local Rent Control Initiative
Proposition 21 was not approved by voters with a 59.8% NO vote. This measure would have amended state law to allow local governments to establish rent control on residential properties over 15 years old and allows local limits on annual rent increases to differ from current statewide limit. It would have allowed rent increases in rent-controlled properties of up to 15 percent over three years at the start of new tenancy.
Proposition 22: App-Based Drivers as Contractors and Labor Policies Initiative
Proposition 22 was approved by voters with a 58.6% YES vote. This measure will consider app-based drivers to be independent contractors and not employees or agents. This will override AB5 on the question of whether app-based drivers are employees or independent contractors.
Proposition 23: Dialysis Clinic Requirements Initiative
Proposition 23 was not approved by voters with a 63.6% NO vote. This measure would have required at least one licensed physician on site during treatment at outpatient kidney dialysis clinics; authorized CDPH to exempt clinics from this requirement if there was a shortage of qualified licensed physicians.
Proposition 24: Consumer Personal Information Law and Agency Initiative
Proposition 24 was approved by voters with a 56.2% YES vote. This measure will permit consumers to prevent businesses from sharing personal information, correct inaccurate personal information, and limit businesses' use of "sensitive personal information." It will also establish the California Privacy Protection Agency to additionally enforce and implement consumer privacy law and impose fines.
Proposition 25: Replace Cash Bail with Risk Assessments Referendum
Proposition 25 was not approved by voters with a 56.4% NO vote. This measure would have replaced the money bail system (for obtaining release from jail before trial) with a system based on determination of public safety and flight risk, and limits detention of a person in jail before trial for most misdemeanors.
The 2020 General Presidential Election took place on November 3, 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all registered voters in California received a vote by mail ballot and had the option to vote by mail, by returning their ballot to an official ballot drop box, or by voting in-person at one of the COVID-compliant in person voting locations.
During this election, voters in Simi Valley had an opportunity to vote for the offices of: President & Vice President of the United States, US Congress District 25, US Congress District 26*, State Senate District 27, State Assembly District 38*, Simi Valley City Mayor, Simi Valley City Council District 1*, Simi Valley City Council District 3*, Simi Valley Unified School District Area C*, Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District, Ventura County Community College District Area 4, and Calleguas Municipal Water District Division 1. (*Certain offices up for election were only available to those within a specific residential district, so not all offices for election were on every individual ballot).
President & Vice President of the United States:
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris (D) won the Office of the President & Vice President of the United States 51% of the votes (aprox. 79,139,000) and 306 electoral college votes, defeating Donald Trump and Mike Pence (R), who received 47.3% of the votes (approx. 73,383,611) and 232 electoral college votes.
United States Congress, District 25:
Mike Garcia (R) won the US Congress, District 25 seat with 169,638 votes (50%), defeating Christy Smith (D), who received 169,305 votes (50%).
United States Congress, District 26:
Julia Brownley (D) won the US Congress, District 26 seat with 60.6% of the vote, defeating Ronda Baldwin-Kennedy (R) who received 39.4% of the vote.
California State Senate, District 27:
Henry Stern (D) won the California State Senate, District 27 seat with 40% of the vote, defeating Houman Salem (R) who received 40% of the vote.
California State Assembly, District 38
Suzette Martinez Valladares (R) won the California State Assembly, District 38 seat with 76% of the vote, defeating Lucie Lapointe Volotzky, who received 24% of the vote.
Simi Valley City Mayor:
Keith Mashburn won the Simi Valley City Mayor seat with 56.35% of the vote, defeating opponents Joe Ayala (30.62%), Wayne Hampton Holland III (2.02%), Robbie Hidalgo (7.41%), Brandon Fortuna (2.28%), and Robert Clarizio (1.32%).
Simi Valley City Council, District 1:
Dee Dee Cavanaugh won the Simi Valley City Council District 1 seat with 50.97% of the votes, defeating Phil Loos who received 49.21% of the votes.
Simi Valley City Council, District 3:
Elaine Litster won the Simi Valley City Council District 3 seat with 46.81% of the votes, defeating T.J. McInturff (13.40%) and Ryan Valencia (39.79%).
Simi Valley Unified School District, Area C:
Sofya Bagdasaryan won the Simi Valley Unified School District, Area C seat with 38.59% of the votes, defeating opponents Jonathan Bonesteel (27.00%) and Rocky Rhodes (34.42%).
Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District (3 seats):
Elaine Freeman (19.91%), Josh Gray (19.46%), and Kate O'Brien (20.96%) won the three open seats on the Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District, defeating opponents Alexander Avalos (13.04%), Steven W. Reeves (9.02%), and Mark Ellis Johnson (17.62%).
Calleguas Municipal Water District, Division 1:
Raul Avila won the Calleguas Municipal Water District, Division 1 seat with 40.96% of the votes, defeating opponents Thomas L. Slosson (33.99%) and Kameren Chase Neal (25.05%).
Ventura County Community College District, Area 4:
Bernardo M. Perez won the VCCCD Area 4 seat with 61.42% of the votes, defeating opponent Brian Gilbert who won 38.58% of the votes.
As more people work and learn from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to stay connected online is more important than ever. Unfortunately, sometimes power outages can happen because of weather conditions, unforeseen circumstances, public safety and critical work. Staying prepared for power outages and unexpected emergencies can help relieve some of the stress when it happens.
Here are ways to stay connected online when the power goes out:
For more information on preparing for outages, check out the SCE website here.
Last week, the Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to Governor Newsom advocating for the safe, efficient reopening of industries in our County. The letter urged the Governor to reexamine the metrics that determine where a county sits on the County Risk Level tier system, and specifically mentioned the number of positive cases being inflated by the cases from individuals who are in prison.
Read the full letter below:
Dear Governor Newsom:
The Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce, representing over 600 businesses and thousands of employees, fights to protect and promote business in Simi Valley. More than 80% of the businesses represented employ fewer than 10 employees, and 95% of these businesses have been forced to alter their business practices, reduce their operations, or forced to close entirely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We appreciate your efforts to protect the health and safety of Californians to slow the spread of the COVID-19. However, the related shutdowns and the dimmer switch approach have many small businesses hanging by a thread, if they have not already permanently shut their doors.
We were hopeful that the Blueprint for a Safe Economy and the four tiers announced in late August would provide some relief to these businesses, but the reality is that many of these businesses are struggling even more and feel as though there is no possibility of reopening their doors any time soon.
The metrics that are being assessed to determine a county’s risk level are inconsistent, at best. In Ventura County, our positivity rate has consistently been in the Moderate (Orange) level since the new evaluation metrics were released. However, our county continues to sit in the Widespread (purple) tier due to our adjusted cases sitting slightly above 7. One major factor adding to this higher number of adjusted cases is the number of positive cases among prisoners.
We don’t believe that positive cases among prisoners should be counted toward the adjusted positive cases that factor into the county risk level metrics. As we understand many of these individuals are not from Ventura County. Additionally, these individuals are isolated and not out in our communities spreading the virus. If this group could be removed from the numbers, we believe our County would be able to move closer towards safely reopening our businesses.
To add insult to injury, the smoke from the wildfires that have overwhelmed much of California combined with the extreme heat we have been experiencing has had an even more devastating impact on these business trying to survive and run their indoor business outdoors. It would be a healthier environment for individuals to exercise or enjoy a meal indoors while distanced than by sitting outside surrounded by excessive heat or wildfire smoke.
The affected businesses in Simi Valley have worked diligently to refit their indoor operations to meet California Department of Public Health (CDPH) industry guidance. Over these past seven months they have shown remarkable resilience and have complied with the countless regulations which comes with a huge financial and emotional price tag. Many of these small business owners have already lost or significantly reduced their revenue stream, while their expenses remain the same or higher in many cases.
The struggles that our businesses are experiencing are not a result of anything they have done. This is of no fault of their own; in fact, many of these businesses were thriving prior to the pandemic. They need assistance to keep their doors open, and they need their government to work for them.
In closing, we urge you to reevaluate the adjusted positive cases less the positive cases from prisoners when assessing the county’s risk level. Our small businesses have worked hard to provide a safe, clean indoor environment for customers. They are the backbone of our state and local economies and they deserve to reopen their doors as they strictly comply with state guidelines.
Kathi Van Etten
President & CEO
Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce