Paso Robles News|Tuesday, January 19, 2021
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COVID-19 is now the leading cause of death in SLO County 

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More than 100 people in SLO County have died of COVID-19

–The County of San Luis Obispo has reported that over 100 SLO County community members have died due to COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. Just this week, the county attributed an additional 13 deaths to the disease, bringing the total confirmed deaths from COVID-19 to 101.

COVID-19 is now the leading cause of death in the US, as well in SLO County, according to the San Luis Obispo County Health Department. “This virus has claimed more than 100 local lives,” said Dr. Penny Borenstein, County Health Officer. “Those are mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, aunts and uncles, children and grandparents who were not ready to die and whose deaths were, in fact, preventable.”

The month of December brought the highest record of active cases in SLO County at 4,806. December 2020 was also the deadliest month during the pandemic, when the county confirmed that 44 local deaths were caused by COVID-19. According to county health officials, 28 additional community members are expected to have died with COVID-19, but health officials have not yet confirmed whether those deaths were in fact caused by COVID-19.

“This disease is not leaving our community unscathed,” said County Administrative Officer Wade Horton. “The virus continues to take a toll on loved, vulnerable members of San Luis Obispo County.”

Active cases currently stand at 3,112. The surge continues to put strain on local hospital ICU capacity. Currently over 40 community members are in the hospital being treated for COVID-19 and an all-time high of 14 community members are in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) with COVID-19.

“To our community members: Lives are in your hands,” said Dr. Borenstein. “We urge you at this time to stay home if you are sick, wear your mask, wash your hands, stay at least six feet apart, and please only gather with members of your household.”

To view detailed statistics, click here.

For more information, visit or call the recorded Public Health Information Line at (805) 788-2903. A staffed phone assistance center at (805) 543-2444 is available Monday – Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to assist with questions related to COVID-19.


About the author: News Staff

News staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote and edited this story from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or follow his blog. He can be reached at