San Luis Obispo County may have to close beach parking lots, bars and indoor operations of other businesses, according to County Public Health officials.
This past weekend, the county had more than 100 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people, which could put the county on California’s COVID-19 county monitoring list, public health officials said in a Monday press release.
If counties are on the monitoring list for three consecutive days, the state will close beach parking, bars and require restaurants, wineries, tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos, museums and card-rooms to operate outdoors or by pick-up, according to California’s COVID-19.gov website.
California’s threshold for staying off the monitoring list is having no more than 100 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people over a 14-day period. San Luis Obispo County recently saw a rate of about 114 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people, according to the press release.
While San Luis Obispo County is not on the monitoring list yet, if more people become infected and the elevated disease transmission rises, the county must close some business sectors, according to the California Department of Public Health website. The state will employ multi-agency enforcement strike teams to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
As of Saturday, July 11 counties on the monitoring list include nearby counties such as Santa Barbara and Ventura.
County Public Health Officer Penny Borenstein said the county’s transmission rate is a key indicator of coronavirus preparedness and spread.
“These numbers are a strong reminder that we are bringing COVID-19 home ─ from travel, from work, from outings,” Borenstein said in a press release.
Borenstein said precautions must be taken to ensure San Luis Obispo County may remain open and the health care system can tend to patients.
The county is also in communication with two local residential care facilities that experienced coronavirus outbreaks this past weekend. Both facilities had COVID-19 patients admitted to the hospital, according to a press release.
One facility is in North County and cares for elderly residents. The other facility is in San Luis Obispo and cares for adults with developed disabilities.
On Thursday, a 52-year-old resident who lived in a long-term care facility died due to COVID-19. This was the fourth coronavirus-related death in the county.
San Luis Obispo County has distributed 637,000 procedure masks, 392,200 gloves, 352,860 N-95 respirators, 31,880 face shields and 16,160 gowns to hospitals as of Saturday, July 11.
In county hospitals, 52 percent of intensive care unit (ICU) beds are available and 91 percent of ventilators are available. There are currently 17 hospitalized COVID-19 patients, four of which are remain in intensive care.
“The people of [San Luis Obispo] County can turn this around if we do our part,” Borenstein said in a press release. “Wear face coverings in public, stay home when you’re sick, maintain a safe distance from others you don’t live with, practice good hygiene and stay close to home.”
San Luis Obispo County is in Stage Two of reopening while under the State of California’s facial coverings mandate.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), COVID-19 especially spreads among people who are within six feet of one another for a prolonged period of time.
COVID-19 spreads when droplets are released into the air and enter others’ mouths or noses, which also can be inhaled into the lungs. An infected person releases these droplets when they cough, sneeze or talk.
To prevent COVID-19 transmission, the CDC recommends maintaining six feet of social distancing between people not from the same household. In addition to social distancing, people should wear cloth face coverings.
The CDC also suggests people wash their hands often, cover coughs and sneezes, disinfect surfaces and monitor their health daily.