Flu Vaccine Required for Ventura County Health Care Workers Beginning Jan 1, 2015

January 1, 2015, all health care workers (HCWs) in Ventura County hospitals, clinics, skilled nursing and long-term care facilities, ambulances and other licensed health care facilities are required to receive an annual influenza immunization or wear a protective mask while in contact with patients.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza infection affects 5-15% of the U.S. population every year, leading to an estimated 3.1 million days of hospitalization and 31.4 million outpatient visits. Influenza accounts for an estimated 36,000 excess deaths in the U.S. each year, 90% of which are in persons ages 65 years and older.

This is the first time Ventura County has issued a mandatory flu vaccine mandate. The order will remain in effect throughout flu season which generally is defined as December 15 – March 31 of the following year.

Those HCWs who refuse to receive the influenza vaccination for religious or other reasons will be required to wear a face mask in patient care areas during the influenza season. Mandatory vaccination or masking policies have been shown to increase HCW vaccination rates to above 95%.

The new rule is part of a growing trend among health-care facilities nationwide. Similar orders have been issued in 23 other California counties.

The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease. While circulating flu viruses vary from one year to the next, the seasonal flu vaccine is designed to protect against the four main flu viruses that researchers predict will cause the most illness during the upcoming flu season.

More info about Ventura County Public Health at www.vchca.org/public-health.

Borders Thousand Oaks Will Be Closing in January 2011

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Update 11/28/10: Today we stopped by Borders for their going out of business sale. Most everything was 30% to 40% off and there was quite a bit of merchandise in the store at this point. We got there at 11 a.m. and by the time we left around noon it was PACKED. So stop by ASAP if you're looking for a deal. An employee indicated the store will be open through the holidays/new year and there is no new location planned.  As we left we passed by the old, vacant Black Angus and Armstrong Nursery. Black Angus closed in April 2008, following the closing of Hungry Hunter and Marie Callender's that year...though later that year nearby The Oaks Mall completed their major expansion with the opening of Muvico, Lazy Dog Cafe and an entire new 134,000 sq ft outdoor retail section. Enough of that. Go get a bargain!

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Original Post Date 11/15/10: Just a reminder that the Borders Bookstore at 125 West Thousand Oaks Boulevard in Thousand Oaks will be closing sometime next January. This VC Star article from July confirms this with a Borders representative.

To me this comes as no surprise ad this 40,630 sq ft store is over 15,000 sq ft larger than the typical sized Borders and the company has experienced net losses for 5 years straight. Borders' stock price (BGP) hovers near an all-time low at just over $1 per share these days.

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There's still hope for Borders with recent changes in management but among the ailing economy, a trend towards online sales and plenty of competition (Amazon.com's market valuation is roughly 900 TIMES Borders'...ouch!). While I would hope that Borders opens up another, smaller location somewhere else in town, I won't hold my breath.

On July 13, 2010, the Ventura County Board of Supervisors approved a plan to relocate three county medical services* an co-locate them into the Borders space. They approved a 15 year lease, starting with 9 months of "free" rent (while $6.5 million of tenant improvements are put in place) and subsequently $1.95/sq ft.

*The county medical services to be relocated to the Borders building will include:

Conejo Valley Family Medical Group (Ambulatory Care), currently located at 223 E. Thousand Oaks Boulevard.

Conejo Valley Clinic (Behavioral Health), currently located at 72 Moody Court.

Public Health, Women, Infants and Children program currently located at 80 E. Hillcrest Drive.