A Message from Assemblymember Irwin:
My office is working closely with City, County, and State agencies to help provide you with the most up-to-date information on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). We want to make sure that we are all prepared for the impacts that COVID-19 poses and that we can keep our communities safe by reducing the spread of the virus.
As the situation is constantly evolving, both statewide and locally, the state is working in partnership with the County of Ventura to mitigate the spread of the disease. We will be updating this page regularly and we invite you to check back periodically.
Public Health Updates
The State of California has created a comprehensive coronavirus response webpage with resources and information.
For more information for the public and healthcare providers on coronavirus, please visit https://www.vcemergency.com for local updates, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) for State updates, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for national updates.
For questions, assistance, and up-to-date information regarding COVID-19, please call the statewide hotline at (833) 544-2374.
Ventura County has also set up a coronavirus hotline at (805) 465-6650 to aid residents with questions about the Stay Well at Home order.
You may also call 2-1-1 or text “coronavirus” to 211211 at any time for updates.
Ventura County has provided a Frequently Asked Questions fact sheet on their webpage.
Los Angeles County has also provided a Frequently Asked Questions fact sheet.
Southern California Edison is temporarily suspending service disconnections for nonpayment and waiving late fees until further notice.
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has taken a range of actions to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on Californians and small businesses.
For payment assistance programs, please visit www.cpuc.ca.gov/assistanceplans.
If you have an issue with your utility and would like to file a complaint, please contact the Consumer Affairs Branch via phone at 1-800-649-7570 or visit www.cpuc.ca.gov/complaints.
The DMV continues to provide essential services via mail, online, kiosks, its call center at (800) 777-0133, and available business partners to process critical transactions.
The DMV encourages customers to use another service channel if their transaction does not require an office visit. These services are listed on the DMV Online Services and DMV Anytime webpages and include change of address, replacement sticker or registration card, notice of transfer and release of liability, and vehicle license fee refund requests, among others.
Behind-the-wheel driving tests will resume statewide on Monday, February 1. Appointments canceled between December 14 and February 1, will be automatically rescheduled within the next two weeks. Customers will be notified by text of their rescheduled appointment. New appointments for behind-the-wheel tests will be available in mid-February once all previously postponed tests have been rescheduled.
Read more DMV news HERE.
On October 1, 2021, U.S. travelers must be REAL ID compliant to board domestics flights and access certain federal facilities. Read answers to REAL ID frequently asked questions at www.dhs.gov/real-id-public-faqs.
Beware of Scams
Unfortunately, there are people that are using COVID-19 to defraud people across the country. Here are some resources and tips to help protect you or your family from COVID-19 related scams:
- Learn how to tell the difference between a real contact tracer and a scammer. Legitimate tracers need health information, not money or personal financial information.
- Don’t respond to texts, emails or calls about checks from the government. Here’s what you need to know.
- Ignore offers for vaccinations and miracle treatments or cures. Scammers are selling products to treat or prevent COVID-19 without proof that they work.
- Be wary of ads for test kits. Many test kits being advertised have not been approved by the FDA, and aren’t necessarily accurate. Almost all authorized home tests don’t provide rapid results and require you to send a test sample to a lab for analysis.
- Hang up on robocalls. Scammers are using illegal robocalls to pitch everything from low-priced health insurance to work-at-home schemes.
- Watch for emails claiming to be from the CDC or WHO. Use sites like coronavirus.gov and usa.gov/coronavirus to get the latest information. And don’t click on links from sources you don’t know.
- Do your homework when it comes to donations. Never donate in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money.
If you experience illegal price gouging on housing, gas, food, or other essentials, submit a complaint at http://oag.ca.gov/report or call 800-952-5225.
As with any virus, the California Department of Public Health reminds everyone that there are a number of steps individuals can take to protect themselves and those around them:
- Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Clean your hands often with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or an elbow or shoulder if no tissue is available). Discard tissue and wash your hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Elbow or fist bump one another instead of shaking hands or hugging
- Get a flu immunization to prevent influenza if you have not done so this season.
What to Do if You Think You're Sick
If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and may have had contact with a person with COVID-19, or recently traveled to countries with apparent community spread, call your healthcare provider or local public health department first before seeking medical care so that appropriate precautions can be taken.
Those who are uninsured and/or do not have a primary health care provider and are symptomatic of the virus can call 211 for assistance.
Local Resources for Seniors
- Caring for Someone with Dementia While Isolated at Home
- Ventura County Early Service Grocery Hours | Español
- VCAAA – Ventura County COVID-19 Information & Resources
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Ready – Department of Homeland Security
- Environmental Protection Agency – COVID-19
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
- VCAAA – Information about Senior Centers and Senior Nutrition Program Meal Sites
For specific questions regarding resources for senior concerns, please call the Ventura County Area Agency on Aging at 805-477-7300.
Senior Support Line
Isolated individuals who are feeling lonely can contact the Senior Support Line at (800) 235-9980
National Domestic Violence Hotline provides highly trained expert advocates that are available 24/7 to talk confidentially with anyone in the United States who is experiencing domestic violence, seeking resources or information, or questioning unhealthy aspects of their relationship. They will connect clients to local resources if they call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
Where to Call for COVID-19 Information
Assemblymember Irwin's District Office: 805-482-1904
Assemblymember Irwin's Capitol Office: 916-319-2044
Statewide COVID-19 Hotline: 833-544-2374
Ventura County Information: 211
Resources for Workers
California will continue acting swiftly to help workers hurt by COVID-19. Affected workers can visit the Labor & Workforce Development Agency's website to review what benefits are available to them.
- Are you caring for an ill or quarantined family member? You may qualify for Paid Family Leave (PFL).
- Have you lost your job? Have your hours been reduced? File an unemployment insurance claim with EDD.
- If you're unable to work due to medical quarantine or illness or got sick on the job, you may qualify for paid sick leave, Disability Insurance,or Workers Compensation.
For information on resources, visit: Labor.Ca.Gov/Coronavirus2019
An unemployment benefits guide is available to help you through the process of applying for UI benefits through The State of California Employment Development Department at unemployment.edd.ca.gov/guide.
The State of CA has launched OnwardCA, a new platform connecting displaced California workers with more than 70,000 job opportunities in critical industries.
For more information, visit: OnwardCa.org
The CARES Act
The CARES Act Provides Assistance to Workers and their Families. Through Economic Impact Payments and other means, the Treasury Department is ensuring that Americans receive fast and direct relief in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The CARES Act initially provided Economic Impact Payments to American households of up to $1,200 per adult for individuals whose income was less than $99,000 (or $198,000 for joint filers) and $500 per child under 17 years old – or up to $3,400 for a family of four.
The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 authorized additional payments of up to $600 per adult and up to $600 for each qualifying child.
In general, individuals with adjusted gross income of up to $75,000 (or $150,000 for joint filers or surviving spouses) will receive the full amount of the second payment. For filers whose adjusted gross income exceeds these amounts, the payment is reduced.
This second round of payments will be distributed automatically, with no action required for eligible individuals. If additional legislation is enacted to provide for an increased amount, Economic Impact Payments that have been issued will be topped up as quickly as possible.
Small Businesses Resources
Small business relief grant program:
- Available to small business or small nonprofits operating in California
- Provides cash payments based on eligible business’s gross revenue
- Round 2 applications open February 2, 2021
Round 2 is the final application window for the Small Business Relief Grant. Applicants who applied but did not receive funds in round 1 do not need to apply again. They will automatically be entered in round 2. You can begin preparing your documents at CAReliefGrant.com.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans
- Available to first and second time loan applicants
- Provides loans to help fund payroll costs
- Applications will be accepted until March 31, 2021
The Paycheck Protection Program provides forgivable loans to help fund payroll costs, including benefits. PPP may also be used to pay for mortgage interest, rent, utilities, worker protection costs related to COVID-19, and uninsured property damage costs caused by looting or vandalism during 2020.
Learn more about the PPP at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) website.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)
- Available for businesses, private nonprofits, homeowners, and renters
- There is currently no expiration date for this benefit
The EIDL is available for businesses, private nonprofits, homeowners and renters. For questions, you can contact SBA’s customer service line at 1-800-659-2955 / 1-800-877-8339 (TTY), or send an email to email@example.com.
Small Business Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee Program
- Available to small businesses with 1-750 employees
- Provides easier access to funds for small businesses
- There is currently no expiration date for this benefit
IBank’s Small Business Loan Guarantee Program provides loans to underserved small businesses. Learn more about this program at the IBank website.
Other help for small businesses
California has additional resources for small businesses impacted by COVID-19:
- Resources and services for small businesses collected by the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development
- Tax relief and extensions from the Department of Tax and Fee Administration
Labor and workforce support for businesses
- Check the Employment Development Department’s resources for employers for information about workplace health and safety guidelines, reduced work hours, potential closure or layoffs, California WARN Act requirements, and tax assistance.
- Visit the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency’s employer resources and assistance.
- Check the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing’s information about COVID-19 infection in the workplace.
For information about recording and reporting requirements for COVID-19 infection, check the frequently asked questions provided by the CA Department of Industrial Relations.
The Economic Development Collaborative Ventura County has compiled a list of resources available for employees and employers who have been impacted by COVID-19. This is an excellent resource for those who anticipate challenges with payroll, and employers seeking an alternative to layoffs. This COVID-19 Business Resource Guide will be updated as new resources become available.
For more information, visit: https://edcollaborative.com/covid19
Updates for Homeowners and Renters
COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act:
The COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act – SB91 (Act) was signed into law January 29, 2021. The Act extends eviction protections to COVID-19 impacted tenants and establishes the state’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program.
EVICTION MORATORIUM EXTENDED
The Act extends tenant protections included in the Tenant, Homeowner, and Small Landlord Relief and Stabilization Act of 2020 (AB 3088) to June 30, 2021. These protections were originally set to expire on February 1, 2021. The Act includes the same eligibility and program rules as before including:
- Prevents evictions for nonpayment of rent by tenants experiencing a COVID-19 hardship.
- Available to any tenant who timely attests under penalty of perjury that he/she has not been able to pay full rent due to COVID-19-related circumstances.
- If a tenant pays at least 25 percent of his/her rent owed between September 2020 and June 2021, they are permanently protected from eviction for not paying their full rent during this period; however they will still owe their landlord all unpaid rent.
- Landlords may still proceed with certain other types of “just cause” evictions unrelated to a tenant’s failure to pay rent.
EMERGENCY RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
- Available for households with incomes at or below 80 percent of Area Median Income, with a priority on helping households at or below 50 percent of Area Median Income as well as households unemployed for the preceding 90 days at the time of application.
- Prioritizes the payment of rental arrearages.
- Landlords can choose to accept 80 percent of any unpaid rent owed from April 1, 2020, through March 31, 2021. If a landlord accepts this funding, the landlord agrees to forgive the remaining unpaid rent for that covered period.
- If a landlord chooses not to participate, the tenant can still apply for relief valued at 25 percent of unpaid back rent they owe for the covered period.
- Qualified tenants will also be able to access funds to cover 25 percent of prospective rent for the months of April, May, and June of 2021, subject to funding availability.
- Utility arrearages will also be eligible to be paid, subject to funding availability.
- The State will directly administer $1.5 billion through either the State Rental Assistance program or through block grants to qualifying local jurisdictions.
- Emphasis on multilingual, local outreach, fraud prevention, and customer service.
- Program will be stood up to begin accepting applications no later than March 15, 2021.
PROTECT TENANTS IMPACTED BY COVID-19
- Limiting public disclosure of eviction cases involving nonpayment of rent between March 4, 2020 and June 30, 2021.
- Protects low-income tenants from landlords assigning or selling their rental debt to a third-party debt collector.
- “Pay or Quit” Notice period for nonpayment of rent extended from 3 to 15 days.
- Protects tenants from being evicted for “just cause” if landlord is shown to be really evicting the tenant for COVID-19 related nonpayment of rent.
- Landlord may not charge late fees for nonpayment of rent between March 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021 to tenants who have attested they are experiencing a COVID-19-related hardship.
- Require landlords to notify all tenants who owe back rent about the availability of their rights and the rental assistance program via an informational notice by February 28, 2021.
PROTECT PROPERTY OWNERS IMPACTED BY COVID-19
- Provides extended consumer protections for requests of mortgage forbearance for homeowners impacted by COVID-19 until September 1, 2021.
For more information and resources, visit HousingIsKey.com
Stay at Home Order
What businesses and organizations are exempt from the stay-home-order?
Businesses and organizations that provide critical infrastructure for the state are exempted, including health care and public health, public safety, food and agriculture and media.
To stay up-to-date on modifications made to the state-wide Stay Home Order, click HERE.
Both the IRS and the State of California have extended many tax filing and payment deadlines for individuals & businesses in response to the COVID-19 crisis. This new resource from the State of California Franchise Tax Board compares original deadlines with the extended dates.
For more details regarding FTB COVID-19 tax relief, click here.
Every Californian can safely help their community during these difficult times by donating to a shelter or food bank, supporting nonprofits, and donating blood.
Consider performing a wellness check (by phone or text) on older neighbors. You can find out more here.
California Health Corp
Are you a healthcare professional with an active license, a public health professional, a medical retiree, a medical or nursing student, or a member of a medical disaster response team in California? Consider joining the newly established California Health Corp. Governor Newsom has announced this statewide effort to meet the demand for healthcare workers during the pandemic. A copy of the Governor's executive order can be found here, and the text of the order can be found here.
You can sign up at healthcorps.ca.gov
For up-to-date information on COVID-19 in the state and throughout our region, visit:
Frequently Asked Questions
QUESTION: How many people have become ill from COVID -19?
ANSWER: Current data from the CDC is available here.
QUESTION: What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
ANSWER: Typically, human coronaviruses cause mild-to-moderate respiratory illness. Symptoms are very similar to the flu, including: runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat, fever and shortness of breath.
QUESTION: How is COVID-19 diagnosed?
ANSWER: Health care providers will assess patients and if novel coronavirus infection is possible, they will do further testing. Please contact your provider before going into an office or clinic so that they can be prepared for your arrival so others will not be exposed. If there is suspicion of an infection, public health agencies will work with health care providers to ensure CDC testing can be completed.
QUESTION: What is the treatment for COVID-19?
ANSWER: There are currently no vaccines available to protect you against coronavirus infection. Most people with illnesses due to common coronavirus infections recover on their own. There are no specific treatments for coronavirus infection. For patients who are more severely ill, hospitals can provide supportive care. We are learning more about this novel coronavirus and treatment may change over time.
QUESTION: What should someone do if they have symptoms?
ANSWER: If you have traveled to areas with a large outbreak or have been with a person who has tested positive, and you have become ill with fever, cough or shortness of breath, call your healthcare provider or local health department. Please be sure to tell your health care provider about your travel history.
QUESTION: Where can the public get information about COVID-19?
If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to reach out to my office. We're always here to answer questions, and together we can keep our community healthy.
State Resources and Programs
Official California COVID-19 Website
A one-stop website for current information, guidelines, resources, and safety tips related to COVID-19.
Employment Development Department
For information on or to sign up for paid sick leave, paid family leave, disability, unemployment, and more.
Hearing impaired (TTY): 1-800-547-9565
California Department of Public Health
For comprehensive information and guidance including adults in senior care, gathering guidelines, guidance for immigrants, healthcare coverage, and more.
A platform connection COVID-19 displaced workers with over 70,000 job opportunities in critical industries.
Labor & Workforce Development Agency
For COVID-19 related information and guidance for employers, workers, business owners, and families.
Covered California & Medi-Cal
To enroll in healthcare coverage including Covered California and Medi-Cal
Franchise Tax Board
For taxpayers and business owners to learn more about the current July 15th tax deadline extension.
Department of Motor Vehicles
For information on the DMV's message on COVID-19.
To schedule an appointment:
Department of Insurance
For information on insurance-related state programs and protections.
Department of Veteran Affairs
For assistance to veterans including healthcare, housing, education, and other services.
Small Business Finance Center/IBank
For information on loans and other assistance programs for small businesses and entrepreneurs.