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COVID-19 Update: 127 cases, 107 recoveries as of Friday, shelter-in-place extended 

cal poly alternative care site

This week, healthcare volunteers and staff trained with patient actors at Cal Poly’s Alternate Care Site. While there aren’t patients being treated at the site yet, it’s ready to accept them if the need arises.

–On Friday afternoon, the County of San Luis Obispo reported 127 total confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 107 recoveries. One person has died from the virus. That leaves 19 active cases of the disease in the county. Three people are hospitalized, two people remain in the ICU.

“We continue to have a flat curve,” said County Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein, however before the county can lighten any restrictions, the state will have to first lift state orders to allow counties to do so. Two challenges that remain for San Luis Obispo County are obtaining enough tests, and also figuring out how to best contact track. For the most part, however, the county will be ready to enter “phase one” of re-opening, when the governor lifts the statewide order. Yesterday, President Trump released guidelines for states to be able to re-open.

Borenstein explained the types of things that the community can expect with “phase 1” of the re-opening. The first phase will focus on opening up businesses that have been shuttered and getting people back to work. Education, large events, and faith-based gatherings will not be included in this initial phase, but will be looked at further down the road in “Phase 2.” The county has extended the shelter-in-place order for another 30 days, but Borenstein says that the order can be updated at any time. Phased re-openings could and hopefully will begin before the 30 days, however, the order will give the county more control while they are still under orders from the state.

San Luis Obispo County District Supervisor Bruce Gibson spoke about the plan to re-open the county in phases. He also talked about food distribution efforts and asks the public to please consider helping keep food on the tables of fellow community members by making a cash donation to the SLO Food Bank.

This week, healthcare volunteers & staff trained with patient actors at the California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo’s Alternate Care Site. While there aren’t patients being treated at the site yet, it’s ready to accept them if the need arises.

Distribution of COVID-19 cases in San Luis Obispo County

  • Paso Robles reported COVID-19 cases: 31
  • Atascadero reported COVID-19 cases: 23
  • Arroyo Grande reported COVID-19 cases: 17
  • City of San Luis Obispo reported COVID-19 cases: 15
  • Morro Bay reported COVID-19 cases: 6
  • Templeton reported COVID-19 cases: 7
  • Nipomo reported COVID-19 cases: 11
  • Pismo Beach reported COVID-19 cases: 5
  • 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 – 6
  • Age 18-49 years old – 47
  • Age 50 – 64 years  – 37
  • Age 65 and older – 37

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

  • At home – 16
  • Hospitalized – 3 (2 in ICU)
  • Recovered – 107
  • Deaths – 1

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

  • Travel related transmission – 43
  • Known person-to-person transmission – 44
  • Unknown community-acquired transmission – 37
  • Unknown – 3

Number of people tested for COVID-19 in San Luis Obispo County

The county reports conducting 810 COVID-19 tests. An unknown number of residents have been tested by private labs, the county reports. The county detected 48 cases, and 79 cases were detected by private labs. Private labs doing testing include WestPac Labs, Quest Diagnostics, Pacific Diagnostic Laboratories, LabCorp, and VRDL.


Same-day COVID-19 tests now available for all LA County residents showing COVID-19 symptoms

Free, same-day tests are now available for all LA County residents who have symptoms of COVID-19. Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.

The following factors do not affect eligibility for a COVID-19 test:

  • Immigration status
  • Insurance status
  • Age
  • Underlying health issues

 

Health equity is central to Los Angeles County’s mission to build a network of free COVID-19 testing sites. There are currently 29 operational sites throughout the county. There are both drive-up and walk-up sites. To ensure the sites prioritize people who need it most, only people who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 are eligible for these testing services at this time.

For more information, visit https://covid19.lacounty.gov/testing.


Governor signs executive order on actions in response to COVID-19

–Governor Gavin Newsom today signed an executive order addressing a variety of issues in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including adjusting admissions requirements for the California State University system and providing flexibility for 60 days on background checks for critical infrastructure sectors.

Specifically, the CSU system will be able to waive hearing requirements to be able to make adjustments to admissions criteria for students applying this coming fall to enter as freshmen in the fall of 2021.

Additionally, the order will allow the California Department of Justice to develop procedures to perform name-based background checks to ensure there is no delay processing employment for critical sectors, such as health care services and care and support for vulnerable populations.

The executive order also will allow federal stimulus checks to flow directly to custodial parents owed back child support payments rather than the state and will additionally allow for commercially licensed food trucks to be able to temporarily operate in roadside rest areas for a period of 60 days, to ensure essential infrastructure workers have access to food. Caltrans will be charged with developing and implementing a process to administer the temporary permits.

The text of the Governor’s executive 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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About the author: News Staff

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 info@pasoroblesdailynews.com.