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COVID-19: SLO County issues new guidance to allow phased reopening of some activities 


Elective surgery, construction, dog grooming, and recreational fishing can safely resume

–San Luis Obispo County officials on Monday clarified activities that can safely operate under the county’s order to Shelter at Home and within the legal framework of the statewide Executive Order to Stay Home Except for Essential Needs.

In reviewing the county’s order and interpreting the State of California’s order, county officials identified business sectors that can operate under the orders. These include non-urgent surgery and outpatient practice, construction, dog grooming, and recreational fishing. In each case, participants must follow the county’s appropriate physical distancing, face-covering, and protective personal equipment (PPE) guidelines, which are in line with the CDC and CDPH guidelines.

“Our community can be proud that we have flattened the curve together”, said County Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein. “We are now working together to develop a phased reopening plan.”

“All county construction projects will be moving forward,” Borenstein said at a press conference on Monday. “Building permits will be issued,” she said.

Non-urgent surgery will resume in the coming weeks as Borenstein provided approval to move forward with non-urgent surgeries when hospitals are ready. In consultation with County Planning Director, Trevor Keith, all construction may move forward and the county will resume issuing of building permits. Pet grooming, both mobile and in-house, fall under essential animal care and may resume following the guidance of County Animal Services Manager, Eric Anderson. Recreational fishing, via personal boat and/or rented boats and private charters, are allowed. Fishing suppliers may conduct sales through curbside pickup or deliver/shipping.

“This is a first step that reflects the county’s legal authority and the current situation with COVID-19 here in SLO County,” said County Administrative Officer and Emergency Services Director, Wade Horton. “We are eager to reopen our community and we are committed to doing so in a way that is safe and is consistent with the powers we have at the County level.” County officials will continue to provide guidance consistent with the statewide order as long as it remains in effect.

In a related move, local leaders in San Luis Obispo County sent a letter to California Gov. Gavin Newsom asking him to allow steps for re-opening the local economy.

The San Luis Obispo County Health Department has been live-streaming updates on its Facebook page. “Follow” their page to see when they go live.

No new cases of COVID-19 reported on Monday

County health officials reported on Monday that there are no additional cases of COVID-19. “We are at 132 today, which is a zero increase,” said Dr. Penny Borenstein, county health officer.

The county has tested nearly 900 patients since the outbreak. Last week, private labs tested 400 people, she said. It looks like the private labs are testing three-times more people than the county health lab, she said. That could mean around 3,600 SLO County residents have received COVID-19 tests.

See SLO County’s COVID-19 case report from Sunday here.

By Monday afternoon, there were at least 33,686 cases and 1,225 deaths in the State of California; and 784,326 cases in the United States of 4,003,551 people tested; and 42,094 deaths in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University.

For updates and questions on COVID-19 in SLO County, visit or 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.

LA Times: Hundreds of thousands in L.A. County may have been infected with coronavirus

Hundreds of thousands of Los Angeles County residents may have been infected with the coronavirus by early April, far outpacing the number of officially confirmed cases, according to a report released Monday.

The initial results from the first large-scale study tracking the spread of the coronavirus in the county found that 2.8% to 5.6% of adults have antibodies to the virus in their blood, an indication of past exposure.

That translates to roughly 221,000 to 442,000 adults who have recovered from an infection, according to the researchers conducting the study, even though the county had reported fewer than 8,000 cases at that time.

“We haven’t known the true extent of COVID-19 infections in our community because we have only tested people with symptoms, and the availability of tests has been limited,” study leader Neeraj Sood, a professor at USC’s Price School for Public Policy, said in a statement. “The estimates also suggest that we might have to recalibrate disease prediction models and rethink public health strategies.”

See the original article here

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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