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SLO County to review hotel occupancy order next week 

COVID-19 Paso Robles Dr. Borenstein–During Friday’s briefing, County Public Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein announced the county will be reviewing the hotel occupancy order next week. Borenstein said the timing is based on the two-week incubation period for the COVID-19 virus that began with peak occupancy on Memorial Day weekend.

The county announced an emergency order on May 15, limiting hotel and short-term lodging occupancy rates to no more than 50-percent only for essential travel to limit the spread of COVID-19. The order reinforced state guidance.

Borenstein said there was only one new case of COVID-19 in the “coastal communities” since the order was issued. “If we continue to see that we have no disease spread then we are willing to move forward in either loosening and increasing the percentage of occupancy or possibly even rescinding the order if all continues to go well.”

“In the meantime, we are continuing to ask the lodging community for their patience and cooperation. We put an order in place and expect to live by that order. We have asked all of our partners in the lodging industry to share their metrics with the county. We are doing spot checks but have not received occupancy information for last weekend from more than half of the hotels that were supposed to report occupancy rates over last weekend.”

Borenstein asked for hotels and other lodging businesses to get their occupancy data to the county as soon as possible to avoid fines. “We can’t really evaluate what the situation is on the ground if we are not getting compliance.”

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About the author: Reporter Jackie Iddings

Jackie Iddings is a contributing reporter and photographer for the Paso Robles Daily News.