California issued a limited stay-at-home order mandating that all non-essential work, movement and gatherings cease between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. for all counties in the widespread, purple tier – including San Luis Obispo County. 

People may still go to the grocery store, walk their dog or pick up takeout from a restaurant under this order, according to a press briefing on Thursday, Nov. 19.

The order is designed to limit non-essential, social gatherings that have “a higher likelihood of leading to reduced inhibition and reduced likelihood to adhere to COVID-1-9 preventive measures,” such as wearing face coverings and keeping six feet of physical distance, according to a press release.

The limited stay-at-home order will begin Saturday, Nov. 21 at 10 p.m. and will end Monday, Dec. 21 at 5 a.m.

County Public Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein said while the limited stay-at-home order is “disappointing,” the San Luis Obispo community should not be drastically affected because most activities do not happen between these hours, according to a press release.

“Now it’s more important than ever to stay positive, have patience with those around you, and continue to do your best to decrease transmission locally,” Borenstein said in the press release. 

More than 25% of University Housing residents are quarantined (1,127 of 4,394 students), up 65 students from last week. Seventy students living on-campus and 98 students living off-campus tested positive for COVID-19 this week, according to the university’s coronavirus dashboard.  

Seventy-one students living on-campus and 91 students living off-campus tested positive for COVID-19 from Cal Poly’s testing programs last week, not accounting for off-campus testing sites. 

Sixty-six University Housing residents are in isolation, up significantly from last week. A record total of 1,127 on-campus residents are currently quarantined-in-place, 62 beginning the process in the last 72 hours.  This time last week, 972 students were quarantined-in-place. 

Cal Poly Daily Positive COVID-19 Cases

San Luis Obispo County had 5,169 total confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Thursday, November 19, up 86 cases from the previous day.

Of the total cases, 4,724 people have recovered.  There are 727 active cases, and 715 people are recovering at home, twelve are hospitalized and one is in intensive care. 

Cases have been reaching new peaks recently both within the county and nationally with the highest ever peak of 128 new cases on Nov. 7 and the second highest of 118 cases on Nov. 14. 

Thirty-five people in San Luis Obispo county have died due to COVID-19, two passing away this past week.  

The county’s case rate is now considered significant in the “widespread” tier. Adjusted the case rate is 12.5 cases per 100,000 people adjusted and 17.7 unadjusted.  This is the highest case rate ever for the county.  

San Luis Obispo County’s free COVID-19 testing clinics do not have same-day or next-day appointments available through Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 26, according to a press release

More people are scheduling appointments to know their COVID-19 status before participating in Thanksgiving gatherings or travel, according to Borestein.

This lack of appointments means that people with COVID-19 symptoms, and people who have been exposed to someone with the virus, cannot be tested in a timely manner. 

County Health Officer Dr. Penny Borestein said people who are asymptomatic and people who have not been exposed should consider taking a self-swab COVID-19 test at home, rather than at a free clinic.

People who have COVID-19 symptoms and those who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 can call their local urgent care or primary care physician to schedule a COVID-19 test appointment, or take a self-swab test at home, according to Borenstein.

Total Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in SLO County

The percent of tests that are positive, or testing positivity rate has also increased, moving from 4.8% to 5.1% this past week. Cal Poly’s ongoing testing program has conducted 13,576 tests since Oct. 3.  A total of 1,805 tests were conducted for university employees.  

Total COVID-19 Case Breakdown

Paso Robles remains the city with the highest number of total cases (1,320), with San Luis Obispo not far behind (1,274) and quickly approaching. Atascadero (497) and Nipomo (400) have the third most and fourth most total cases, respectively.

While all cities have increasing cases, the cases of San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles continue to increase at significantly higher rates since early November. 

COVID-19 Cases by City

The majority of COVID-19 cases are in the 18 to 29-years-old age group and the 30 to 49-years-old age group, recording 1,871 and 1,440 cases respectively.

42% of the cases can be attributed to person-to-person contact or in-person spread.

The county reported that 2,165 people contracted the virus from person-to-person contact, 2,343 people contracted the virus from community spread, 232 people contracted the virus through travel and 1,647 cases are under investigation.

For more detailed statistics, see the county’s detailed statistics webpage.

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