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Sunday, Aug 7, 2022
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Three Counties Explore Forming Separate COVID-19 Region

Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties intend to petition the state to form a separate Central Coast region for the purpose of coronavirus pandemic regulation.The move is in reaction to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s “stay-at-home” order for the Southern California region, where the three counties are located currently and which they believe unfairly affects their collective 1.5 million residents.The Southern California region includes 23.1 million people in 11 counties and has high levels of intensive care usage at hospitals in some parts, but ICU utilization in the Central Coast region remains much lower than in most of California.Therefore, the three counties believe that the state’s stay-at-home order has been overzealous to extend the same level of restrictions across the Central Coast that it has with more populous and vulnerable parts of the region, hurting the local economy.“A smaller regional approach is important for our community members and struggling businesses,” Ventura County Executive Officer Mike Powers said in a statement shared with Pacific Business News. “It’s reasonable to have the Central Coast as one region instead of including our county with half the state’s population in the current Southern California region.”The Ventura County Board of Supervisors has scheduled a hearing Tuesday to vote on the issue. Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties have yet to schedule this item on their respective agendas.

Michael Aushenker
Michael Aushenker
A graduate of Cornell University, Michael covers commercial real estate for the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. Prior to the Business Journal, Michael covered the community and entertainment beats as a staff writer for various newspapers, including the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, The Palisadian-Post, The Argonaut and Acorn Newspapers. He has also freelanced for the Santa Barbara Independent, VC Reporter, Malibu Times and Los Feliz Ledger.
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