First report of COVID-19 related death Sunday, CMH staff is hit by coronavirus

March 24, 2020
Santa Paula News
Page 1 

By Peggy Kelly

Santa Paula Times

With the report of the first COVID-19 coronavirus death Sunday in Ventura County, a major hospital has reported the virus has struck physician and administrative staffs.

Michael Ellingson, vice president of Marketing and Development for Community Memorial Hospital, confirmed Monday that four people related to the hospital, three anesthesiologists and an administrator, tested positive for COVID-19. The four are reportedly quarantined at their homes. One of anesthesiologists tested positive for the virus last week. The hospital halted elective surgeries last week, limiting any recent interaction between the anesthesiologists and patients, he said. The Ventura-based CMH, which has clinics throughout the county, including one in Santa Paula, halted elective surgeries last week.

In all, six Ventura County residents were reported to be hospitalized Monday in the county who are suffering from the virus. There are 35 cases, according to county officials, five more than reported Sunday when the first death was also reported. The victim has not been identified and was described by the county as being in his or her early 70s, with underlying health issues.

Of the latest reported Ventura County cases, two are in Santa Paula, with the most in Simi Valley, where 11 people have tested positive. Thousand Oaks and Camarillo each have five cases, Ventura has four, Oxnard three, while Moorpark, Ojai, Oak Park, Westlake Village and Somis each have one case. In what has been described as the most vulnerable age range — 65 and older — only county residents have tested positive. Fifteen cases struck 45- to 64-year-olds. Seven people age 25-44 have tested positive, as have three people age 18-24. A single local case was found in someone under 18. The first local case was reported March 6; the patient had traveled on the Grand Princess cruise ship.

Experts report that 80 percent of those infected with the virus can have no or minor symptoms. Social distancing is the new buzzword with orders for people to shelter in place, limit gatherings and those outside to stay 6-feet away from each other. Warnings have come fast, furious and often from officials, from Governor Newsom who expressed his frustration at beachgoers congregating at shore to Ventura County CEO Mike Powers urging residents stay inside and away from each other.

The Ventura County Sheriff's Office sent out a blaring emergency alert Monday afternoon to cell phones in the county, reminding people to self isolate and adhere to social distancing when they must leave their homes for essential services only.

Site Search



Call 805 525 1890 to receive the entire paper early. $50.00 for one year.