Risk of getting or spreading disease increases as local cases surge

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The County of San Luis Obispo reported 258 new cases of COVID-19 today, Dec. 22, bringing the total number of active local cases to 2,050.

This is the highest number of new daily cases and the highest number of active local cases reported since the pandemic began. Health officials report the surge in new cases reflects the “second generation” of cases spread during the Thanksgiving holiday.

“This surge in cases means the risk has gone up for all of us in SLO County,” Dr. Penny Borenstein, County Health Officer, stated. “Every activity now carries more risk of getting or spreading COVID-19 than it did even a few weeks ago. We must all do our part to ensure we do not fuel this surge during the upcoming Christmas and New Year holidays. Please: wear a mask, stay home if you are sick, and avoid gathering with people outside your household.”

The surge in cases mirrors patterns seen across the state. It threatens to overwhelm local health care capacity if it continues and is already straining local contact tracing capacity, with contact tracers struggling to quickly inform contacts of possible exposure.

Anyone who has been in close contact (more than 15 minutes within six feet) with someone who tests positive for the virus should self-quarantine without waiting for a call from a contact tracer. It is also putting pressure on public health response resources, as public health teams are currently responding to 15 active outbreaks at long-term care facilities, corrections facilities, fire stations, and other settings.

“These cases represent more than two thousand of our neighbors who in some cases are now very ill as a result of our collective actions a few weeks ago,” said Dr. Penny Borenstein. “Now is not the time to let your weariness get the best of you. As difficult as it is, we must continue to protect each other and especially our most vulnerable neighbors by doing what it takes to slow the spread.”

The Paso Robles Press reached out to Dr. Borenstein on how the COVID-19 vaccines that started last week will help our community going forward. We are awaiting her response.  

Related Stories:

How Will COVID-19 Vaccines Get Distributed in SLO County?

SLO County Public Health Administers First COVID-19 Vaccine Shots

Total COVID-19statistics as of today, Dec. 22 SLO County has a total of 9061 Confirmed Cases, 6930 Recovered, 65 Deaths to Date.

COVID Stats 12.22.20
Click here to view the entire report.

For more information, 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 – Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to assist with questions related to COVID-19.