Three more people died over the weekend in Ventura County after testing positive for COVID-19, bringing the county’s death toll from the novel coronavirus to four one week after reporting its first fatality.
Those who have died were all in their 70s or 80s and had preexisting health conditions, county spokeswoman Ashley Bautista said Monday. The county’s health department has not identified where the four lived.
Following a steady increase last week in the number of confirmed cases, the county added 48 new patients over the weekend, bringing the total to 109. That’s nearly an 80% increase from Friday’s count, which was 61. The county’s latest numbers show Simi Valley leads the region with 20 confirmed cases, followed by Camarillo with 19.
Residents ages 45 to 64 continue to make up the largest number of cases, at 46. Thirty-one cases include people over the age of 65, while 23 are between the ages of 25 and 44. There are eight cases for those between 18 and 24, and one case of someone under the age of 17.
Three physicians and one administrator at Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura previously tested positive for the virus, according to a hospital representative.
The county has attributed the jump in cases to increased testing efforts, including at a public health lab, private labs and drive-through sites. So far, about 1,500 people have been tested, Bautista said. In Ventura County, residents need a referral from a doctor in order to be tested.
The rise in case numbers and deaths comes as the state tries to limit outdoor activities in public places to control the spread of the virus. On Sunday, the state closed vehicle access to all 280 state parks because of a surge of visitors. This includes Point Mugu State Park, which has more than 70 miles of hiking trails and runs along Pacific Coast Highway.
County officials have also reduced animal services in an effort to keep people home. Ventura County Animal Services announced that starting Monday, nonessential services including pet adoptions and owner-requested euthanasia appointments would be discontinued. The no-kill animal shelter is also asking residents to surrender pets only in emergency situations and strays who appear sick or injured.
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