Paso Robles News|Thursday, February 22, 2024
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COVID-19: Governor to allow ‘phase two’ of reopening this week, SLO County adds one case 

–Public officials hosted another press conference regarding the County of San Luis Obispo’s response to the COVID-19 virus Monday. The County Health Department has been going live on their Facebook page between 3 and 3:15 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays to provide updates on the shutdowns and latest data.

San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Lynn Compton spoke about reopening efforts and the county’s START guide. She said that the county has received 625 comments since the release of the plan late last week. As of the press conference Monday, the county was still waiting on word from Governor Gavin Newsom as to when reopening stages may begin.

Newsom announced Monday that California will begin to move into “Phase 2” of the state’s reopening plan by the end of this week, according to reports. The new guidelines for the next phase — which allow for the return of retail, manufacturing, and other “low-risk” businesses — will be released Thursday, and businesses can start reopening Friday if new physical-distancing measures are implemented.

Compton also spoke about the two new free testing sites that are now open in the county. One in Paso Robles and one in Grover Beach. The site in Paso Robles is at the Veterans Hall and in Grover Beach, it’s at the Romana Gardens Community Center. Testing is available by appointment only, to make an appointment go to or call 888-634-1123. Compton also said that the county has received multiple grants that will go to aid in various housing efforts for anyone facing eviction or homelessness due to the virus.

County Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein provided an update on the latest data. One new case has been reported in the county as of Monday. Seven people remain in the hospital and three are in intensive care. She also advised that because of the two additional testing sites, the number of confirmed cases would likely go up. She said that the severity, specificity, and location of these cases will all be closely looked at as the county moves forward into reopening stages carefully so as to continue to not overwhelm the medical system.

Borenstein also clarified which types of businesses will open during each stage, and addressed questions about personal care services such as hair salons, as well as gyms, and schools. Personal care services, which were included in the county’s plan in phase one, is the only major difference in the county’s proposed reopening guide in comparison with the state’s, she says. Click here to view the county’s START guide. 

Gyms will be able to reopen in the early stages, but group classes will likely not be an option for the first stages. Vulnerable populations, which include those over 65 and anyone with pre-morbidity or compromised immune systems, should continue to shelter in place during phase one and phase two of the re-openings.

Some modified school reopenings could occur during stage one, such as special education and summer school, to help students who may be falling behind in their studies. For the majority of students, they will be able to return to school later in phase 2, with modifications that are not yet determined.

Updates will be provided as the plan develops. Watch the full press conference here. 

Distribution of COVID-19 cases in San Luis Obispo County

  • Paso Robles reported COVID-19 cases: 68
  • Atascadero reported COVID-19 cases: 33
  • Arroyo Grande reported COVID-19 cases: 19
  • Nipomo reported COVID-19 cases: 16
  • City of San Luis Obispo reported COVID-19 cases: 15
  • Templeton reported COVID-19 cases: 7
  • San Miguel reported COVID-19: 8
  • Pismo Beach reported COVID-19 cases: 7
  • Morro Bay reported COVID-19 cases: 6
  • CA Men’s colony – 11
  • Other San Luis Obispo County reported COVID-19 cases: 12

Ages of COVID-19 cases in San Luis Obispo County

  • Age 0-17 years old – 14
  • Age 18-49 years old – 88
  • Age 50 – 64 years  – 57
  • Age 65 and older – 43

Cases of COVID-19 by status in San Luis Obispo County

  • At home – 40
  • Hospitalized – 7
  • Recovered – 156
  • Deaths – 1

Source of transmission of COVID-19 cases in San Luis Obispo County

  • Travel related transmission – 49
  • Known person-to-person transmission – 83
  • Unknown community-acquired transmission – 64
  • Unknown – 6


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