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San Luis Obispo County’s COVID-19 cases are showing signs of slowing after weeks of surging, according to a County Public Health news release

County Public Health officials say COVID-19 cases in the county increased by 3,852 over the past week. While it’s still a staggering number, the county called it a welcomed decrease from previous weeks where totals rose upwards of 5,000. 

The county now stands at a 14-day average of 621 cases, a slight decrease from last Friday’s record high of 649. 

The fast spreading omicron and delta variants, paired with the thousands of students that returned to Cal Poly, sent COVID-19 cases skyrocketing across the county. 

Only three days into the new year, more students had tested positive for the coronavirus through Cal Poly’s COVID-19 testing program than ever before.

By the end of January, more than 14,659 total cases of COVID-19 were confirmed, and was more than 30% of all local cases since the pandemic began. 

Though it seems the county may have finally reached the turning point of the peak, it didn’t come without cost.

The county passed a “somber” milestone on Feb. 1, as four more community members passed away due to COVID-19, bringing the total residential deaths in the county to 402.  

“This is a sad day for San Luis Obispo County, especially for the families, friends and loved ones of the more than four hundred community members who have succumbed to this disease,” County Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein said in the news release.

County Public Health officials urge the community to honor those who have succumbed to the disease by making sure to take the right precautions and slow the surge.

“Stay home when sick, get tested, mask up, and take the time to get fully vaccinated and boosted. These measures are proven to slow the spread of COVID-19,” Borenstein said.

According to Public Health’s latest news release, there are currently 36 county residents hospitalized due to COVID-19, with six in the ICU. Hospitalizations and deaths tend to increase several weeks after a surge, according to County Public Health.

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