Germ cells with caption overlay: COVID-19 Update for SLO County
COVID-19 Update for SLO County

As Number of Cases of COVID-19 Increase in SLO County, Local Officials Support New State Guidance Co

Author: Public Health Department
Date: 3/17/2020 4:04 PM

“What is vitally important right now is that we all do what is needed to slow the rate of spread so we don’t overwhelm our health care system.”

Disclaimer: This information may be outdated. For the most recent guidance and case details, visit

The County of San Luis Obispo Public Health Department announced three additional cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) today. This brings the total number of confirmed cases in SLO County to six.

“This is not a surprise and we have been planning and preparing accordingly,” said SLO County Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein. The number of cases will continue to increase as they are increasing across the state. “What is vitally important right now is that we all do what is needed to slow the rate of spread so we don’t overwhelm our health care system.”

Dr. Borenstein and County Emergency Services Director Wade Horton support the guidance issued by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) yesterday that includes further restrictions on operations of food and beverage establishments.

This is a Public Health recommendation and not an enforceable order at this time:

The CDPH guidance states that bars, wineries, breweries and pubs should be closed and that restaurants should be closed for in-restaurant seated dining and should be open only to drive-through or other pick-up/delivery options. Grocery stores and charitable food distribution sites should remain fully open and operational. As with other settings, grocery stores should ensure that social distancing of six feet per person for nonfamily members is maintained and make clear that family members can participate in activities together, stand in line together, etc, and that limiting the number of customers at any given time as necessary to reduce outdoor/indoor crowding and lines to meet social distancing guidance. Farmer’s markets should space booths accordingly to increase social distancing among patrons in line and walking about the market. Please see the complete CDPH guidance for additional details and exceptions.

“We recognize the significant impact this will have on businesses and the general quality of life we enjoy in our county,” said Mr. Horton. “Slowing the spread of COVID-19 largely depends on actions taken by all members of the public, and it must be everyone’s top priority right now.” 

County Public Health held an important meeting with hospital executives earlier today to discuss the emergency measures within existing surge response plans and to further ensure our local health care system remains responsive should we experience a surge in the demand for acute care services.

Symptoms of COVID-19 range from mild to severe and include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Older adults and individuals with underlying medical conditions are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. Call your regular health care provider if you need medical attention or think you should be tested for COVID-19.

Everyone should take simple steps to reduce the spread of respiratory illnesses including COVID-19:

  • Remain calm;
  • Wash your hands with liquid soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or using alcohol-based sanitizer if soap and water are not available;
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;
  • Regularly clean surfaces touched by many people;
  • Stay home if you are sick;
  • Avoid others who are sick;
  • Avoid large gatherings of people; and
  • People over the age of 65 and those with health conditions such as lung or heart disease, diabetes, and a compromised immune system should stay home.

Please visit for the latest public health updates and recommendations or call the Public Health Information Line at (805) 781-5500.