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COVID-19: SLO County releases draft steps to adapt and reopen together 

get tested for COVID-19-SLO County

Dr. Penny Borenstein has been at the forefront of combating the COVID-19 pandemic in San Luis Obispo County.

–Today the County of San Luis Obispo released a public draft of its proposed approach to reopen the county. The Steps To Adapt & Reopen Together (START) Guide is the culmination of work by a diverse group of stakeholders facilitated by County partner, REACH, and reviewed and adopted by the project team and the County Public Health Officer, Dr. Penny Borenstein. The START Guide can be found at

“I am confident that our community will be able to take steps to adapt and reopen together,” said Dr. Borenstein. “This dynamic draft guide provides the public with our desired approach for a phased reopening of our communities and economy.”

The START Guide incorporates a three-phased approach with clear criteria the County Health Officer can use to determine when the County can move forward from one phase to the next, or back to a prior phase depending on whether criteria is met.

SLO County is currently in “Pre-Phase 1”, which is under the County and State’s Stay-at-Home Orders. All timing of phases will be based on data, not dates, to ensure the top priority of public health and safety. The public still needs to understand that we cannot move to Phase 1 while the State Stay-at- Home Order remains in place. Residents and organizations will find the following in the START Guide:

  • • A matrix and description of the proposed three phases.
  • • The path to open systematically, with different requirements under each phase.
  • • A list of specific health criteria for moving forward and potentially backward as the situation
  • • Draft standards and guidelines.


“As we prepare to take steps to adapt and reopen together, we will work together to reduce risk. But we know risk won’t be removed entirely,” said County Administrative Officer and Emergency Services Director Wade Horton. “This draft guide will help us move forward as a community.”

To review the START Guide, provide feedback, and get other COVID-19 updates, visit, call the recorded Public Health Information Line at (805) 788-2903, or staffed phone assistance center at (805) 543-2444, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends.

COVID-19 update: Four new cases reported Friday afternoon

–As of Friday afternoon, the County of San Luis Obispo reported four additional COVID-19 coronavirus cases, bringing the confirmed total to 188.

There are now 147 recovered cases, 33 are recovering at home. One person has died from the virus. Seven people are hospitalized, two are in an ICU.

As of Thursday, the county is in the process of creating two more testing sites, one in Paso Robles and one in Grover Beach. Stay tuned for more information regarding testing and who will be eligible. The framework for the phased reopening of the county is expected to be released today, according to county officials. The County Health Department has been going live on their Facebook page at 3:15 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays to provide updates on the shutdowns and latest data.

Local beaches are not currently scheduled to close, despite local reports that said a memo from Calif. Gov. Gavin was going to order beach closures state-wide. The Governor clarified Thursday that only Orange County beaches will be forced to close. Local officials expressed their opposition for the forced closures in a series of statements. 

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The news staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote or edited this story from local contributors and press releases. The news staff can be reached at