Gyms, places of worship, personal care services, hair salons, malls, and non-essential office spaces must close all indoor operations in San Luis Obispo County starting July 16 under a state order
to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The order is a result of SLO County staying on the state’s COVID-19 watch list for three consecutive days, which it landed on due to a recent spike in cases per capita.
FILE PHOTO COURTESY OF THE SLO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
CLOSURES After a few weeks of being reopen, two recent state orders will close many indoor business operations in SLO County starting July 16.
On July 15, SLO County added 34 new cases, a day after it added 72. The county’s case numbers have more than doubled in three weeks, from 508 on June 26 to 1,112 on July 15, with five deaths occurring during that time.
Meanwhile, California broke a daily record for new cases on July 15, recording 11,126 cases.
The local closures hit just three days after Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered the statewide closure of bars and breweries and of indoor operations at restaurants, wineries and tasting rooms, movie theaters, zoos, museums, family entertainment centers, and cardrooms.
At a July 15 press briefing, SLO County Public Health Officer Penny Borenstein said that the recent orders have “no end date we can report” but noted that reducing the daily case counts will be crucial to reopening again.
“What we really need to do as a community is to bring down the number of cases that we’re seeing,” Borenstein said. “We’re going to have to figure out a way to co-exist and keep our cases down.”
County officials say that hospitalizations continue to be stable despite the case uptick, with 11 local COVID-19 patients hospitalized as of July 15.
“To put those numbers in context, the county has 369 hospital beds,” SLO County Emergency Services Director Wade Horton said. “We have surge capacity in the Cal Poly Alternative Care Site (ACS).”
Horton announced on July 15 that the county extended its agreement with Cal Poly to keep the campus recreation center in standby status as an overflow hospital, and that it’d signed an agreement with Santa Barbara County to allow its hospitals to send patients there if needed.
He said that there was not an “imminent” need to open the facility for either county.
“We hope that the ACS is never needed,” Horton said. ∆