Lily Tenner | Mustang News

San Luis Obispo County Public Health announced Wednesday that the county order requiring masks in indoor public places will be lifted Feb. 16. The mandate began Sept. 1.

“Throughout the pandemic, we have sought to balance public health measures with pre-pandemic normalcy – this change reflects another such moment,” County Public Health Officer Dr. Penny Bornstein said in a press release.

The announcement comes after Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted this week saying the state-wide mask requirement will now expire on Feb. 15.

“CA’s case rate has decreased by 65% since our Omicron peak. Our hospitalizations have stabilized across the state,” Newsom said in the tweet. 

The state still requires individuals who are unvaccinated to wear masks in indoor public areas. 

Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, will still be required to wear masks in healthcare facilities, schools and public transit.

Cal Poly will still require all students, staff and visitors to wear a mask in all indoor places, regardless of their vaccination status, university spokesperson Cynthia Lambert said. While outside, masks are not a requirement. Any future changes to this policy will be shared as soon as possible. 

In San Luis Obispo County there has been a decrease in new cases, as well as hospitalizations since late January. On Jan. 28, during the peak of the Omicron surge, there were 67 individuals hospitalized with the virus. As of Feb. 8, there are 35 people hospitalized with COVID-19.

Still, San Luis Obispo County Public Health urges all to get vaccinated. 

“Today we are in the position of being able to lift one layer of protection,” Borenstein said in the press release. “As we look ahead, I implore you to protect yourself and your family by staying up-to-date with your vaccine.” 

The County offers access to COVID-19 treatment and will be expanding treatment options in the coming weeks. More information on treatment can be found on their website

Updates concerning COVID-19 in SLO County can be found on the county’s COVID-19 resources page.

Editor’s note: This article was updated on Feb. 10 to include information about Cal Poly’s mask mandate.

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