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State’s Regional Stay at Home Order in effect tonight in SLO County 

COVID-19 Paso Robles Dr. Borenstein

–Community members should prepare now for the State’s Regional Stay at Home Order to take effect on Sunday, Dec. 6 at 11:59 p.m. The ICU capacity for the Southern California region, which includes San Luis Obispo County, fell below the state’s 15-percent trigger Friday evening.

“We are disappointed to be categorized in the Southern California region and continue to ask state officials to reconsider our regional assignment to better represent the local ICU capacity,” said Dr. Penny Borenstein, County Health Officer. “However, COVID-19 is spreading fast in SLO County, and in the past 14 days, 11 people with COVID-19 have died in our community.”

The Southern California ICU bed capacity dropped to 13.1% yesterday and officials expect that number to drop even further today. While SLO County’s ICU capacity is higher than the rest of the Southern California region, SLO County is still seeing negative impacts of this pandemic locally. Local cases have skyrocketed in the past month and the County reported that six local community members died from COVID-19 since Nov. 21. Five more people with COVID-19 have died this week, but local health officials are waiting for the death certificates to confirm that they in fact died from COVID-19.

The State’s order will result in closures of various sectors, including indoor and outdoor playgrounds; hair salons and personal care services; wineries, bars, breweries and distilleries, and more. Certain sectors can remain open with modifications, including outdoor recreational facilities, retailers (20% capacity limit), restaurants (take-out, pick-up or delivery only), and hotels (for critical infrastructure support). Critical infrastructure sectors, schools that are already open for in-person learning, childcare, and pre-K, and medical and dental care may remain open.

“While we encourage people to stay home as much as possible, except for critical services, school, and outdoor activities for physical and mental health, let’s also focus on supporting our community and turning the pandemic around in SLO County,” Dr. Borenstein. “If you can: shop local online, order take-out from your favorite local restaurant, and reach out to friends and family who may need support during this temporary shutdown.”

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.

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