SAN LUIS OBISPO — After further investigation, the County Public Health Department revised the total number of COVID-19 deaths in SLO County from 16 to 15. One additional death of a known COVID-19 case is now under investigation.

“We looked further into all reported COVID-19 related deaths because it became known that the circumstances of at least one case was not as clear as the others,” said Dr. Penny Borenstein, County Public Health Officer. “This pandemic is ever-evolving, and we will continue to refine our information as we learn more.”

After further investigation, Public Health officials reclassified one death because it was determined that while COVID-19 may have contributed to their demise, it was not an underlying cause of death as initially thought. The reclassified COVID-19 case was a resident at Vineyard Hills Health Center, a skilled nursing facility in Templeton that had an outbreak of COVID-19 among residents and staff. Public Health officials say that when the COVID-19-positive status of this case became known, the individual was already in the final stages of dying.

Consistent with national standards, the County Public Health Department will continue to classify a known COVID-19 case as a COVID-19 death only if COVID-19 is listed on a death certificate as an underlying cause of death.

In deaths where it is unclear if COVID-19 may have contributed to that person’s demise, those cases will not be listed as a COVID-19 death.

As of Thursday, 2,047 SLO County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, most of whom are recovered.

For updates on COVID-19 in SLO County, visit ReadySLO.org or call the recorded Public Health Information Line at 805-788-2903. A staffed phone assistance center at 805-543-2444 is available Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., to assist with questions related to COVID-19.

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