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By Chris Frost
Oxnard-- In his report to the Oxnard City Council, City Manager Alex Nguyen said the unfortunate truth is that we're all still in the midst of the pandemic.
"Everything we're enduring is still better than death," he said. "The state announced that 94 percent of the state's population, the majority of our counties, are moving back into the purple tier, which is the most controlled one, and there is a lot of things shutting down again."
Bars and breweries, if they're not serving food, will be closed, offices will be remote, live audience sports and amusement parks will also be closed. Museums, zoos, aquariums, places of worship, movie theaters, gyms, fitness centers, restaurants, wineries, and family entertainment centers will be open in the outdoors only.
"I encourage everyone who's in these various businesses to read the guidance provided by the county's public health department and follow the rules as they apply to your sector," he said. "I know this is a hardship for many businesses, but it is an unfortunate reality. The numbers in most of the country are spiking again. We have to continue enduring."
The State of California has issued a travel advisory, he said, and it suggests that people coming into California or coming back to California self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival.
"The current language of the guidance is that people should do this," he said. "I would not be shocked if that were to change to shall in the near future. Given that we have holidays coming up, starting with Thanksgiving, we're all reeling from quarantining and isolating and not having social contact. Especially with our friends and relatives. The health departments want our people to be extremely cautious. If you're going to gather over Thanksgiving, do not have more than three physical households gathering. If your grandparents are coming over, or your aunts, uncles, or cousins, that counts as a household. There is a strong suggestion that you do it outdoors if you're able to. Don't attend gatherings if you are sick or in a high-risk group. We still recommend that you still practice physical distancing and wash your hands often. Wear a face mask as often as you can and keep the gatherings brief. Keep them short and avoid singing, shouting, and chanting, as that helps to spread the virus. I know this is difficult, especially after the year we've been through, but we have to do our best to encourage everyone to follow these guidelines."
Nguyen addressed the city delivering essential services, and he heard a concern about people in public service and the people who work in garbage collection and sorting industries.
"We've done, overall, a good job," he said. "Since the beginning of this pandemic, we've unfortunately had 39 of our officers in situations where they were exposed. That's a good statistic, given the number of interactions our officers have with the public every day and night. So far, we've had 11 test positive. My concern is that if we get more than a certain amount, it will be very, very difficult for us to backfill. We are doing a good job of keeping everyone safe, but I wanted to provide that brief reality checks in terms of the city's staffing."