Paso Robles News|Wednesday, January 19, 2022
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Public health reports two deaths, 41 hospitalizations from COVID-19 

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Public Health also reported today that 1,121 new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed since Friday

– The County of San Luis Obispo Public Health Department reported that two more SLO County residents—one in their fifties and one in their sixties—have died from COVID-19, bringing SLO County’s total number of COVID-19 deaths to 375.

This report comes as 41 SLO County residents are currently hospitalized due to severe COVID-19 illness, including eight in the ICU, and hospitals report severe pressure on emergency departments.

“We mourn the loss of these community members and send our deepest sympathy to their loved ones,” said County Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein. “These deaths are a sobering reminder that COVID-19 can be extremely serious. I ask everyone in our community to join the fight to stop this surge, protect each other, and preserve our hospital capacity: get vaccinated and boosted, avoid gatherings, and mask up in indoor public spaces. If you’re sick, stay home and get tested.”

Public Health also reported today that 1,121 new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed since Friday. SLO County’s 14-day daily average has spiked to 283, up from 34 just before Thanksgiving. Test positivity has increased to 19.2-percent, higher than the previous peak of 11.1-percent in Jan. 2021.

About 75-percent of recent COVID-19 cases sequenced in SLO County are of the Omicron variant and about 25-percent are of the Delta variant. Health officials say the two highly-contagious variants could quickly lead to an overwhelmed local health care system if trends continue. COVID-19 hospitalizations generally increase in the several weeks following a surge in cases.

“COVID-19 is currently surging all around us and we need to protect our hospital capacity for those who are severely ill,” said Dr. Borenstein. “Please do not go to the ER for testing or mild symptoms.”

Those who have recently traveled, gathered with a group or been exposed to someone with COVID-19 should get tested 3-5 days after exposure or travel. Testing is available at pharmacies, urgent cares, and Public Health community sites by appointment. For testing locations and to make an appointment, visit www.slopublichealth.org/testing. Masking is required in indoor public places in SLO County and statewide. Vaccines—both boosters and primary series—are available at no cost at pharmacies, doctors’ offices, Public Health Department clinics, and mobile clinics countywide. To schedule an appointment, visit www.slopublichealth.org/vaccines or call (833) 422-4255.

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.