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Five new COVID-19 deaths reported, 55 residents in hospital 

what should an employer do if employee tests positive for covid-19 coronavirusHighest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations since January 2021

–Today, the County of San Luis Obispo Public Health Department reported that five more SLO County residents—one in their fifties, two in their sixties, one in their seventies, and one in their nineties—have died as a result of COVID-19. These deaths come amid a continued spike in hospitalizations due to COVID-19, with 55 SLO County residents currently hospitalized with severe COVID-19, including 16 in the ICU. This is the largest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in SLO County since late January 2021.

SLO County has added 460 cases of COVID-19 since Friday. Today’s report brings the total number of cases in SLO County to 24,622 cases and the number of deaths caused by COVID-19 to 279.

“My heart goes out to the families who must grapple with this loss, and to those whose loved ones are severely ill in our hospitals,” said Dr. Penny Borenstein, county health officer. “I fear that we will lose more lives in our community, and I am concerned that increasing COVID-19 cases will affect our health care system’s capacity to provide other types of care we count on. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to get vaccinated so that you are protected from the worst outcomes of COVID-19—to protect your own health and to protect the health care capacity we all rely on.”

Vaccines continue to be widely available at no cost at pharmacies, doctors’ offices, public health department clinics, and mobile clinics countywide. Vaccines continue to be effective against severe impacts of COVID-19, including known variants, according to the public health department. More than 68-percent of eligible SLO County residents have received at least one dose of vaccine, and 60-percent are fully vaccinated.

The public health department is providing $25 gift cards to residents who get vaccinated in the month of August at Public Health clinics. Residents who refer someone to get vaccinated or help them make an appointment can also win prizes.

To get a COVID-19 vaccine at a public health clinic in Paso Robles, Grover Beach, or San Luis Obispo, visit myturn.ca.gov or call(833) 422-4255 to choose your location, time, and vaccine type, or walk in during open vaccine hours. See hours and pop-up clinics at www.RecoverSLO.org/Vaccine. To find other vaccine providers, visit myturn.ca.gov or VaccineFinder.org.

For updates on COVID-19 in SLO County, visit ReadySLO.org or call the recorded public health information line at (805) 788-2903. Phone assistance is available at (805) 781-5500 Monday – Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information on COVID-19 vaccine, visit www.RecoverSLO.org/Vaccine.

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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 info@pasoroblesdailynews.com.