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Health officials urge precautions as COVID-19 increase accelerates in county 

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More highly-contagious BA.2.12.1 variant is likely driving this increase, according to public health officials

San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department officials say now is the time for San Luis Obispo County residents to consider increased precautions as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations increase at a faster pace.

The more highly-contagious BA.2.12.1 variant is likely driving this increase, according to public health, which includes some reinfections of people who had an earlier strain of Omicron during the recent winter surge.

Click here for detailed SLO County statistics.

cases

“While we don’t need to panic, we are now in a situation where it is wise to take precautions,” said County Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein. “These case rates tell us it is time to use the tools we have for reducing risk: be careful about gatherings, wear your mask in crowded spaces, stay home and get tested if you are sick. For those 50 and older who have been wondering when to get a second booster, I’d suggest now is the time.”

Recommendations include:

  • Keep gatherings safer: Small, brief, outdoor gatherings continue to be safest option for social get-togethers. Consider remote or virtual meetings when practical.
  • Know before you go or gather: Get tested prior to and again three to five days after travel or gatherings. At-home rapid tests provide the option to test right before gathering, an especially valuable approach if visiting someone who is at higher risk.
  • If you’re sick, stay home: Anyone feeling sick, even mildly, should stay home and get tested for COVID-19. While it’s allergy season, there is also a lot of COVID-19 circulating.
  • Use your mask: It’s a good idea to wear your mask in busy indoor places, including stores. N95/KN95s provide the strongest protection.
  • Boost your immunity: Now is a key time to get vaccinated or boosted if you haven’t yet.
  • Remember the basics: Wash your hands often and avoid touching your face.

 

Since last week’s report, 586 new cases have been reported, bringing the 14-day daily average to 67, up from nine one month ago. This does not include rapid or at-home tests. Thirteen SLO County residents are hospitalized for COVID-19, including two in the ICU. This is up from two hospitalizations two weeks ago. Public health teams are actively responding to 24 outbreaks in congregate settings.

Vaccines, including boosters, are available at no charge for everyone age five and older. COVID-19 treatment is widely available for people at higher risk.

For updates on COVID-19 in SLO County, visit slopublichealth.org/COVID19 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.


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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.