New travel advisory effective immediately to travelers arriving in California

SAN LUIS OBISPO — On Monday, Dec. 13, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced that the state’s seven-day average case rate increased by almost half (47), and hospitalizations have increased by 14 percent. According to the report, in response to the increase in cases and hospitalizations and to slow the spread of both Delta and the Omicron variant, CDPH issued updated guidance to curb the spread of COVID-19 and its variants. 

Beginning Dec. 15, CDPH will require masks to be worn in all indoor public settings irrespective of vaccine status through Jan. 15, 2022. At that point, California will make further recommendations as needed in response to the pandemic. 

Additionally, CDPH updated requirements for attending mega-events, like concerts and sporting events. Prior to attending an event, attendees will now require either proof of vaccination, a negative antigen COVID-19 test within one day of the event, or a negative PCR test within two days of the event. 

Getting through this together, Paso Robles

CDPH also issued a new travel advisory effective immediately to recommend that all travelers arriving in California test for COVID-19 within three to five days after arrival, regardless of their vaccination status. 

Dr. Tomás J. Aragón, CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer, stated, “Starting Wednesday, California will require masking in all public indoor places during the holiday season regardless of vaccination status. Attendees of large events will be required to show either proof of vaccination, a negative antigen COVID-19 test within one day of the event, or a negative PCR test within two days of the event. Additionally, California has issued a travel alert to recommend that all travelers get tested within three to five days of their arrival in California. Vaccines and these temporary measures will allow friends and families to safely spend the holidays together and will add critical layers of protection to keep people safe.” 

According to a report by the Centers of Disease Control and Pervention (CDC) updated on Dec. 15, more data is needed to know if the Omicron variant infections, and especially reinfections and breakthrough infections in people who are fully vaccinated, cause more severe illness or death than infection with other variants. Or how easily Omicron spreads compared to Delta remains unknown. CDC expects that anyone with Omicron infection can spread the virus to others, even if they are vaccinated or don’t have symptoms.

Currently, the CDC reported that the vaccines are expected to protect against severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths due to infection with the Omicron variant. However, breakthrough infections in people who are fully vaccinated are likely to occur. 

Scientists are working to determine how well existing treatments for COVID-19 work. Based on the changed genetic make-up of Omicron, some treatments are likely to remain effective while others may be less effective.

On Oct. 20, the County of San Luis Obispo Health Department released criteria on lifting the indoor masking requirement in public spaces issued earlier by Dr. Penny Borenstein, County Health Officer just for the county. However, the requirements were not subject to state and federal masking rules—which over the last several months were not met, so the county will now follow the state mandates going forward. 

According to the readyslo.org website, the total cases since March 2020 is 31,039 current active cases, 307, recovered cases, 30,377, and total deaths, 367, which is 0.01 percent of the total cases in San Luis Obispo County. 

According to the County, more than 72.3 percent of eligible San Luis Obispo County residents have received at least one dose of vaccine, and 65.5 percent are fully vaccinated. 

For updates on COVID-19 in SLO County, visit ReadySLO.org or call the recorded Public Health Information Line at (805)788-2903. Phone assistance is available at (805)781-5500 Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information on COVID-19 vaccine, visit RecoverSLO.org/Vaccine 

Statewide COVID-19 Data

Vaccinations

  • 61,315,927 total vaccines administered.
  • 77.7 percent of the eligible population (5+) has been vaccinated with at least one dose.
  • 210,409 people a day receive COVID-19 vaccination (average daily dose count over seven days). 

Cases

  • California has 4,886,509 confirmed cases to date
  • The average case count is 5,825 (average daily case count over seven days). 

Testing

  • The testing positivity rate is 2.2 percent (average rate over seven days). 

Hospitalizations

  • There are 3,804 hospitalizations statewide.