Gracie Kitayama and Sophie Kroesche

County Public Health reported that two San Luis Obispo County residents died due to COVID-19 Tuesday, July 28 — the tenth and eleventh deaths due to the virus.

Both residents were in their 80s and had underlying health conditions, which made them vulnerable to serious coronavirus illness, according to a press release.

Both individuals also lived at Vineyard Hills Health Center, a Templeton nursing facility that is experiencing an outbreak of COVID-19, according to the press release. Since the outbreak began, three residents and one former resident of the facility have died due to COVID-19.

County Public Health is partnering with Compass Health to prevent a larger outbreak, according to the press release. This means that individuals who are sick will be isolated in addition to ongoing testing and other infection control measures.

“Our hearts go out to the families who have lost their loved ones,” County Health Officer Penny Borenstein said. “Outbreaks at residential facilities are especially dangerous—and we can all play a role in stopping them before they start.”

Borenstein said that individuals should take precautions like wearing a face covering in public and maintaining a six feet distance from others to help stop the spread of the virus.

There have been four total deaths in the past seven days in the county. These two deaths come two days after the ninth death was reported on Sunday, July 26.

Older adults, individuals with health conditions and people living in congregate settings such as residential care facilities are at higher risk from COVID-19, the press release read. However, younger adults and those without chronic health conditions have also contracted the virus and were hospitalized, according to the press release.

Borenstein recommended that all residents take precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19. It is possible for people to spread the virus for about two days before experiencing signs or symptoms and remain contagious for at least 10 days after signs or symptoms first appeared, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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