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COVID Update

Guidance on Gatherings to Protect Public Health and Slow the Spread of COVID-19

Author: Public Health Department
Date: 3/12/2020 4:40:51 PM

The SLO Public Health Department is adhering to Governor Newsom's directive that all non-essential large events be cancelled or postponed.

Updated on September 4, 2020: General gatherings and special events are not permitted at this time. 

The State has made allowances for constitutionally protected gatherings to include in-person religious services, cultural ceremonies (which now includes wedding ceremonies but NOT receptions/celebrations), protests, and other constitutionally protected gatherings if they follow the State's COVID-19 Industry Guidance for Places of Worship and Providers of Religious Services and Cultural Ceremonies. Attendance at indoor gatherings protected by the First Amendment must be limited to 25% of total capacity or a maximum of 100 attendees.

According to the CDC's Considerations for Events and Gatherings, the risk of COVID-19 spreading at events and gatherings increases as follows:
  • Lowest risk: Virtual-only activities, events, and gatherings.
  • More risk: Smaller outdoor and in-person gatherings in which individuals from different households remain spaced at least 6 feet apart, wear cloth face coverings, do not share objects, and come from the same local area (e.g., community, town, city, or county).
  • Higher risk: Medium-sized in-person gatherings that are adapted to allow individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and with attendees coming from outside the local area.
  • Highest risk: Large in-person gatherings where it is difficult for individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and attendees travel from outside the local area.

Original News Release on March 12, 2020: While there are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in San Luis Obispo County (as of today, March 12), the Public Health Department is adhering to the executive order and  directive issued by Governor Newsom on March 11 that all non-essential large events should be cancelled or postponed, at least through the month of March.

This statement, issued at the recommendation of state public health experts, calls for cancelling or postponing:

  • non-essential events of more than 250 people
  • non-essential gatherings of less than 250 people that do not allow social distancing of at least six feet between participants
  • non-essential gatherings of more than 10 individuals who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19

Per the governor’s directive, this does NOT include:

  • regular school or work activities
  • public transportation and airport travel
  • shopping at a store or mall

The County of SLO Public Health Department, like others across the state, is working to help residents and organizations clarify how this directive applies to other types of events. For the time being, given the current state guidance and current situation in SLO County, this directive does not apply to:

  • weddings
  • funerals
  • farmers markets where people shop for their regular groceries

For other events not specifically addressed, event organizers should take steps to limit the risk to participants by postponing or live-streaming the event, if possible. If it is not possible to postpone or live-stream the event, organizers should implement social distancing measures such as allowing attendees to maintain a distance of six feet from one another. Individuals who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, including those over age 60 and those who have serious chronic medical conditions such as heart or lung disease, diabetes, or immunocompromise, should take extra care and consider not participating in such events.

See detailed recommendations from the California Department of Public Health. Please note we expect to regularly update this guidance in response to the rapidly changing situation and updates from state leaders.  We will continue to offer clarification on specific event types as it becomes available.

For events scheduled after March, organizers will need to make a decision in part based on how far in advance they need to cancel. State leaders have indicated they may extend the directive beyond March.

Additional news and information about COVID-19 is available at



El gobernador actualiza la guía sobre reuniones para proteger la salud pública y frenar la propagación de COVID-19

Por lo cual no hay casos confirmados de COVID-19 en el Condado de San Luis Obispo, el Departamento de Salud Pública se adhiere a la orden ejecutiva y directiva por el Gobernador Newsom el 11 de Marzo de que todos los eventos grandes que no sean esenciales deben ser cancelados o pospuestos, por lo menos hasta el mes de Marzo.

Esta declaración, emitida por recomendación de expertos estatales de salud pública, exige cancelar o posponer:

  • Todos los eventos no esenciales de más de 250 personas
  • Reuniones no esenciales de menos de 250 personas que no puedan distanciarse por lo menos de seis pies entre los participantes.
  • Reuniones no esenciales de más de 10 personas que están en mayor riesgo de enfermedad grave de COVID-19

Según la directiva del gobernador, esto NO incluye:

  • Actividades escolares o laborales regulares
  • Transporte público y viajes al aeropuerto
  • Andar en compras en una tienda o centro comercial

El Departamento de Salud Pública del Condado de SLO, como otros en todo el estado está trabajando para ayudarle a los residentes y las organizaciones a aclarar cómo se aplica esta directiva a otros tipos de eventos.  Por el momento, dada la orientación estatal actual y la situación actual en el condado de SLO, esta directiva no se aplica a:

  • Boda
  • Funerales
  • Mercados de agricultores donde la gente compra sus comestibles habituales.

Para otros eventos no abordados específicamente, los organizadores del evento deben tomar medidas para limitar el riesgo a los participantes posponiendo o transmitiendo en el evento en vivo, si es posible.  Si no es posible posponer o transmitir el evento en vivo, los organizadores deben implementar medidas de distanciamiento social, como permitir que los asistentes mantengan una distancia de seis pies entre uno al otro.  Las personas que corren un mayor riesgo de contraer enfermedades graves de COVID-19, incluyen las personas mayores de 60 años y los que tienen condiciones médicas crónicas como enfermedades cardiacas o pulmonares, diabetes o inmunodeficiencia, deben de tener mucho cuidado y considerar no participar en tales eventos.

Vea las recomendaciones con detalles de Departamento de Salud Pública de California.  Tenga en cuenta que esta guía puede actualizarse con frecuencia en respuesta a la situación que cambia rápidamente y las actualizaciones de los líderes estatales.  El Departamento de Salud Publica continuara ofreciendo aclaraciones sobre tipos de eventos específicos en cuanto estén disponibles.

Para los organizadores de eventos den el Condado de SLO:  El Departamento de Salud Publica recomienda que los organizadores del evento consulten las recomendaciones detalladas del Departamento de Salud Pública de California.  Para los eventos programados después de marzo, los organizadores deberán tomar una decisión en parte en función de con cuanto tiempo de anticipación deben cancelar.  Los líderes estatales han indicado que pueden extender la directiva más allá de marzo.

Para actualizaciones sobre COVID-19 en el condado de SLO:  Vea www.readyslo.orgo llame a la línea de información de salud púbica al (805)-788-2903.