VENTURA (CBSLA) — Starting Wednesday, Ventura County will allow additional businesses to reopen in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, following a Tuesday announcement by Gov. Gavin Newsom that expands what can reopen under Stage 2.

“We are positioned to move forward because our businesses and residents have sacrificed so much to comply with the local order,” Mike Powers, County Executive Officer, said in a statement. “We trust our business community. We know they are working so hard to meet the guidelines. We want them to be able to reopen safely and we know they will do a great job.”

The county will allow childcare facilities, office-based businesses, car washes, pet groomers, landscapers, outdoor museums, open gallery spaces and other public spaces to reopen with modifications.

“As we move further into Stage 2, we must do so with caution,” Dr. Robert Levin, public health officer, said. “We must continue to practice social distancing and businesses must make modifications needed to lower the risk of COVID-19 exposure. This will help keep our numbers low so we can continue to move forward.”

Before reopening, businesses must follow a number of steps, outlined on the county’s website, to ensure they can operate in accordance with county guidelines.

The news comes as Ventura County reported 20 new cases, bringing the countywide totals to 698 cases and 19 deaths. It has been six days since the county’s last reported coronavirus-related death.

As of Tuesday, there were 25 COVID-19 patients hospitalized with 13 in intensive care units. The county reports that 475 people have recovered from the illness. The county has tested 13,930 people.

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