COVID-19: SLO County reports continued surge, backlogged cases
–San Luis Obispo County public health officials say that the prevalence of COVID-19 is still surging locally after the recent holiday weekend, despite a delay in cases reported.
County health officials are inspecting a backlog of cases in the state’s database after the holiday weekend, which is causing a delay in reported data at the local level. Health officials say that SLO County’s total number of cases will likely surpass 10,000 before the end of the week.
The state recently started a new process to rapidly assign suspected cases to a jurisdiction. Those cases must then be inspected at the local level and reclassified by a local health official as a confirmed case to ensure the accuracy of local data. This new process causes a slight backlog of the number of new confirmed cases reported locally, according to the county health department. However, they say this does not affect the number of reported cases requiring hospitalization or intensive care, nor does it affect the number of deaths reported locally, as that data is assessed through separate methods.
The County Public Health Department reported SLO County’s highest number of hospitalized cases, at 47, and ICU cases, at 12, on Tuesday, as well as four more deaths. The county has reported that 36 local community members died of COVID-19 since the start of December, which makes up 49-percent of local COVID-19 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.
Sadly, today we report that 4 more local community members between the ages of 80 and 100 have died of COVID-19. Our hearts go out to those who lost their life to this virus as well as to their loved ones, who are grieving today. (1/2)
— SLO Public Health (@SLOPublicHealth) December 29, 2020
“Ensuring that we are accurately tracking cases is paramount to our response to the virus and slowing the spread,” said Dr. Penny Borenstein, County Health Officer. “Don’t wait for the data to update. Protect yourself and your community: wear a mask, don’t gather, stay home if you are sick, and get tested.”
SLO County has recently hit several records related to case counts. Last week the County of San Luis Obispo reported 258 new cases of COVID-19 in a single day. Additionally, the 14-day average of new cases also hit a record of 159 new cases per day. The surge in new cases reflects the “second generation” of cases spread from the Thanksgiving holiday, the county says.
For updates on COVID-19 in SLO County, visit ReadySLO.org or call the recorded Public Health Information Line at (805) 788-2903. A staffed phone assistance center at (805) 543-2444 is available Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to assist with COVID-19 questions.