Paso Robles News|Sunday, June 7, 2020
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COVID-19: SLO County reports 93 cases, 57 recovered, 4 in intensive care 

–San Luis Obispo County now has 93 patients who have tested positive for COVID-19, as of Friday afternoon. Fifty-seven patients have recovered. Currently, thirty patients are recovering at home, six have been hospitalized, and four are in intensive care.

The majority of COVID-19 patients — 53 people — are older than 50. Thirty-seven patients are in the 18-to-49 age group, and only 3 patients are 17 and younger. SLO County’s Public Health lab has conducted 468 tests and have had 40 positive results. Fifty-three positive COVID-19 results were conducted by private labs.

Several hospitals have requested more PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment) and the county has been able to fulfill orders as of this morning, according to County Health Officer Penny Borenstein.

Borenstein addressed questions regarding wearing masks and advised the public that if they want to wear masks for personal protection, that they can do so, but urged the public to leave the surgical grade and N95 masks for healthcare workers and those in the “front lines.” Officials also encouraged PPE donations from the public and said that the community has stepped up in a variety of ways.

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson discussed the ongoing shelter at home order. He said that local law enforcement is not making traffic stops to see where people are going, and are only responding to reports of businesses that are still operating despite the order and social gatherings. They have eased up on enforcement of small infractions such as overnight parking, and are seeing less crime overall. He said that there were 1400 fewer calls in March compared to March of last year. Law enforcement has stepped up patrol in an effort to provide assurance to the community as well as protect unoccupied businesses.

Inmates have been tested at the county jail and none have tested positive for the virus. 5 inmates were released early as per state mandate. These inmates were older in age and their crimes were non-violent, meeting state requirements for early release. The prison has fewer inmates than usual at this time due to a decrease in criminal activity.

Officers are currently being tested for fever every day and are given PPE, but there is still daily interaction that must occur with the public, Parkinson said.

Overall, voluntary compliance has been successful, according to Parkinson. No citations have been issued and no arrests have been made for violating closure orders, and Parkinson says he doesn’t expect to have to move to that level of enforcement.

Parkinson also addressed National Guard deployment. At this time, the National Guard has been given no other deployment order rather than to provide humanitarian services.

One area where there is room for improvement is that groups of children that are still seen in groups mingling and playing together. Parkinson is urging parents to keep their families isolated from other families, as mingling like this is an easy way to bring contagion into a home.


Walmart has begun to enforce a limit of 55 shoppers in the store at one time. Paso Robles Police provided reinforcement efforts on Friday to ensure the new rule be adhered to. Photos by Anthony Reed.

 


Distribution of COVID-19 cases in San Luis Obispo County

  • Paso Robles reported COVID-19 cases: 26
  • Atascadero reported COVID-19 cases: 18
  • Arroyo Grande reported COVID-19 cases: 13
  • City of San Luis Obispo reported COVID-19 cases: 8
  • Morro Bay reported COVID-19 cases: 6
  • Templeton reported COVID-19 cases: 6
  • Nipomo reported COVID-19 cases: 6
  • Other San Luis Obispo County reported COVID-19 cases: 10

Ages of COVID-19 cases in San Luis Obispo County

  • Age 0-17 years old – 3
  • Age 18-49 years old – 37
  • Age 50 – 64 years  – 24
  • Age 65 and older – 29

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

  • At home – 30
  • Hospitalized – 6
  • Of those hospitalized in intensive care – 4
  • Recovered – 57
  • Deaths – 0

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

  • Travel related transmission – 33
  • Known person-to-person transmission – 33
  • Unknown community-acquired transmission – 24
  • Unknown – 3

Cases of COVID-19 by testing laboratory

  • SLO County Public Health Lab – 40
  • Private labs – 53

Private labs doing testing include WestPac Labs, Quest Diagnostics, Pacific Diagnostic Laboratories, LabCorp, VRDL. As of Monday afternoon, the county reports conducting 463 COVID-19 tests. An unknown number of residents have been tested by private labs, the county reports.


Recent SLO County COVID-19 coronavirus updates


Additional information from government agencies:

Governor issues executive order to protect consumers from price gouging

–Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order expanding consumer protection against price gouging as California continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The order generally prohibits sellers of any kind from increasing prices on food, consumer goods, medical or emergency supplies, and certain other items by more than 10 percent. The order also gives additional tools to the California Department of Justice and Attorney General’s Office, among others, to take action against price gougers.

“This crisis has impacted every Californian and our normal way of life, and we are ensuring that all consumers are able to purchase what they need, at a fair price,” said Governor Newsom.

A copy of the Governor’s executive order can be found here, and the text of the order can be found here.

Learn more about the state’s ongoing COVID-19 response efforts here. Visit covid19.ca.gov for critical steps Californians can take to stay healthy, and resources available to those impacted by the outbreak.


Governor issues executive order to expand telehealth services

–Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order to expand protections to medical providers as they amplify the use of video chats and similar applications to provide routine and non-emergency medical appointments in an effort to minimize patient exposure to COVID-19.

The order relaxes certain state privacy and security laws for medical providers, so they can provide telehealth services without the risk of being penalized. This action is similar to the federal HHS Office for Civil Rights waiver issued on March 17, 2020 regarding federal privacy and security laws.

“This order provides flexibility to our medical and health providers so that they are able to provide continuity of health services to people across the state, and will allow providers to assess a greater number of patients while limiting the risk of exposure and infection of other persons from in-person consultations,” said Governor Newsom.

Governor Newsom continues to encourage people to practice safe physical distancing and to comply with stay-at-home orders to bend the COVID-19 curve.

A copy of the Governor’s executive order can be found here, and the text of the order can be found here.


What is the cause of COVID-19 transmission?

–Transmission of the COVID-19 virus appears to be caused by close and prolonged contact, Borenstein said. The greater the illness has affected someone, the more likely they are to transmit it to other people, she said. Asymptomatic transmission, if occurring at all, is a minor proportion of infections, she said. Airborne infection appears to be limited to someone infected who coughs or sneezes and vapor droplets may linger for a short period of time. But neither asymptomatic transmission nor airborne transmission appear to be a dominant means of transmission, she said. The virus does tend to transfer well with human contacts, like shaking hands, and linger on hard surfaces, studies have shown.


How people can protect themselves

Every person has a role to play. Protecting yourself and your family comes down to common sense:

  • Staying home except for essential activities – “Shelter at home
  • Washing hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.
  • Avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover a cough or sneeze with your sleeve, or disposable tissue. Wash your hands afterward.
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
  • Staying away from work, school or other people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough.
  • Practicing social distancing.
  • Following guidance from public health officials.

What to do if you think you’re sick

Call ahead: If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough or shortness of breath) and may have had contact with a person with COVID-19, or recently traveled to countries with apparent community spread, call your health care provider before seeking medical care so that appropriate precautions can be taken.

San Luis Obispo County’s urgent communicable disease line is (805) 781-4553.




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