Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQ

For more information, we encourage everyone to visit the County of Ventura’s COVID-19 website or the CDC COVID-19 website.

What is Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that can cause respiratory illness in humans. They get their name, “corona,” from the many crown-like spikes on the surface of the virus. Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and the common cold are examples of coronaviruses that cause illness in humans.

Who is at Risk for Coronavirus?

The immediate risk of being exposed to this virus is still low for most Americans, but as the outbreak expands, that risk may increase.

Those currently at an elevated risk include:

  • Individuals who have recently traveled to international locations where community spread is occurring are at an elevated risk of exposure, with level of risk dependent on where they traveled.  These locations include: China, Iran, South Korea, Japan, Europe, the United Kingdom, Ireland, or locations with known community spread.
  • Individuals who have recently traveled aboard a cruise ship.
  • Individuals who have had close contact with persons positive for COVID-19 are at an elevated risk.
  • Older adults, with risk increasing with age.
  • People who are immune compromised or have chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease.

What are the Symptoms of Coronavirus?

Patients with confirmed infection from the COVID-19 virus reported these symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty Breathing

In 80% of patients, COVID-19 causes only mild cold symptoms. The elderly, and those with pre-existing medical conditions appear to be more vulnerable to the virus.

What is the Difference Between Coronavirus Screening and Testing?

Screening for COVID-19 includes a series of questions designed to determine a person’s risk level for contracting the virus. These questions evaluate a person’s recent travel history and the presence of certain symptoms that may be indicative of COVID-19.  Screening may also include basic vital sign assessments such as body temperature readings. 

The COVID-19 risk assessment parameters are determined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  

Testing for COVID-19 is ONLY performed when an individual is exhibiting symptoms consistent with those of COVID-19 and is determined to be at an elevated risk based on CDC guidelines.

Testing includes a nasal swab performed by a healthcare professional.  Following sample collection via swab, samples are submitted for testing.

Do I Need to be Tested for COVID-19?

ONLY those who have been screened by Ventura County Public Health or another healthcare professional and are determined, based on CDC guidelines, to be at elevated risk for COVID-19, should be tested. 

If you or a loved one has a fever and/or signs of respiratory illness (e.g., cough, difficulty breathing) AND meet any of the following conditions, STAY HOME and call your primary care physician, local emergency room, or urgent care for guidance:

  • Contact with a known COVID-19 patient within 14 days of symptom onset OR
  • Recent history of travel from affected geographic areas including China, Iran, South Korea, Japan, Europe, the United Kingdom, Ireland, or other areas of concern (e.g. cruise ship travel, locations with community spread of COVID-19).

People who meet the criteria above are strongly encouraged to STAY HOME and call their primary care physician, local emergency room or urgent care clinic for guidance.

What Should I Do If I Think I Need to be Tested?

If you think you should be tested for COVID-19, please STAY HOME and call your primary care physician, local emergency room, or urgent care for guidance.

Community Memorial Hospital (Ventura) – 805-948-8100

Ojai Valley Community Hospital (Ojai) – 805-640-2260

Centers for Family Health Urgent Care, Camarillo – 805-383-4520

Centers for Family Health Urgent Care, Oxnard – 805-487-5585

Centers for Family Health Urgent Care, Santa Paula – 805-525-9595

Can I Get Tested for COVID-19 at Community Memorial Hospital, Ojai Valley Community Hospital, or The Centers for Family Health Urgent Care Locations?

If you are symptomatic and think you need to be tested for COVID-19, please CALL AHEAD BEFORE visiting the CMH Emergency Room, OVCH Emergency Room, or Centers for Family Health Urgent Care locations.

Community Memorial Hospital, Ojai Valley Community Hospital, and the Centers for Family Health Urgent Care locations are able to perform swabs for COVID-19 testing for those who meet testing criteria.

Are Enough Tests Available in Ventura County?

At this time, Ventura County has adequate tests for those who are symptomatic and meet the CDC criteria for testing.

Should All Events or Community Gatherings Be Cancelled?

Large events and mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States.  Examples of large events and mass gatherings include conferences, festivals, parades, concerns, sporting events, weddings, meetings, fundraisers, and other types of assemblies.

At this time, the CDC in accordance with its guidance for large events and mass gatherings, recommends that for the next eight (8) weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States.  

This recommendation does not apply to the day to day operation of organizations such as schools, institutes of higher learning, or businesses.  This recommendation is made in attempt to reduce introduction of the virus into new communities and to slow the spread of infection in communities already affected by the virus. 

How Can I Protect Myself from COVID-19?

The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19. There are simple everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses. These include:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Should I Wear a Mask?

  • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
  • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).

Due to the quickly evolving nature of information and recommendations related to Coronavirus (COVID-19), the information on this page is subject to change.

For more information, we encourage everyone to visit the County of Ventura’s COVID-19 website or the CDC COVID-19 website.