With a steadying tick of new cases in SLO County, panel to be established for reopening plan

San Luis Obispo County Administrative Officer Wade Horton reported the County is working to establish a panel to bring information to the public about a scheduled return to an open community.

I’m proud of what our community is doing together,” Horton said. “We believe our county will be in a good position to begin a phased reopening in our communities, while continuing to manage this disease.”

“We are working on the SLO County Roadmap to Phased Reopening to get you out of your houses and reopen the doors of our local businesses,” Horton said. “We are keenly aware of the dramatic impact the shelter-in-place is having on the economic climate of our community.”

As the management of community spread continues and comes under some semblance of control, the law enforcement community will face an uptick in concerns as an emergency zero bail order takes effect at 5 p.m. today, releasing inmates from local jails.

“There are approximately 30 individuals who might be eligible for release,” SLO County District Attorney Dan Dow said.

Dow said his office is working closely with local law enforcement agencies, and the Sheriff’s department will continue to keep heightened patrols on the streets.

“… to be seen, to discourage criminal behavior, and to help the community feel safe,” SLO County Sheriff Ian Parkinson said. “Safety is our utmost concern.”

SLO County Public Health Officer Penny Borenstein reported that cases in the county continue to speak to a flattening of the curve, locally. Three new cases were reported, but one of the new cases needed hospitalization. changes at the hospital moved a positive direction.

“One of those is a patient who has long been on a ventilator and who has come off the ventilator,” Borenstein said.

Borenstein added the County is fact-finding to confirm the flattening of the curve in the local community.

For updated information on local COVID-19 statistics and articles, visit our dedicated COVID-19 page

It’s now more important than ever for anyone showing symptoms to get tested for COVID-19, from SLO County Public Health Dept.

  • If you are sick with even mild symptoms of COVID-19, please get tested for the disease right away.  
  • If you’re sick, call your doctor or your nearest Urgent Care to get tested right away. Many doctors offices and clinics are now offering testing. See the list below for Urgent Care locations providing testing. We need to know if this disease is in fact spreading here. We fear that not enough people are getting tested.  
  • Testing capacity has expanded locally. We can test more people.  
  • If you are sick but are having trouble getting tested, please call the County Public Health Department at 805-781-5500. 
  • If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 9-1-1.

If you have symptoms other than fever, cough and shortness of breath, County Public Health recommends staying home until you are well.

If you develop a fever while home, stay home until:

  •  at least 3 days (72 hours) after fever has resolved,* AND
  • respiratory symptoms such as cough and shortness of breath have improved, AND
  • at least 7 days since symptoms first appeared. 

Note: Fever is not considered to be “resolved” if you’re still using fever-reducing medicine such as acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or ibuprofen (Advil®).

Testing Locations

Please contact your Primary Care Provider first to inquire about testing.  If your personal physician or health care provider will not test you or does not do COVID-19 testing, some Urgent Care providers do.  Please note that these locations may have long wait times.

NameAddressPhone NumberTesting
Med Stop Urgent Care283 Madonna Rd, SLO805-549-8880Yes
Family & Industrial Medical Center47 Santa Rosa St, SLO805-542-9596Yes
Urgent Care of Pismo Beach2 James Way Suite 214, Pismo Beach805-295-6594Yes
Dignity Health Urgent Care Pismo Beach877 N Oak Park Blvd, Pismo Beach805-474-8450Yes
Urgent Care of Morro Bay783 Quintana Rd, Morro Bay805-771-0108Yes
Urgent Care of Atascadero9700 El Camino Real #100, Atascadero805-466-1330Yes
Dignity Health Urgent Care Atascadero5920 W Mall, Atascadero805-461-2131Yes
Medworks Medical Centers350 Posada Ln, Templeton805-434-3699Yes
Dignity Health Urgent Care Central Coast2271 D Depot St, Santa Maria805-922-0561Yes
Dignity Health Urgent Care Central Orcutt1102 E Clark Ave Ste 120A Santa Maria805-332-8185Yes

 Important Notes: 

  • We have broadened our clinical criteria to increase the number of individuals who should be considered appropriate for testing, and we encourage other healthcare providers to do the same.  
  • Consistent with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Public Health Department no longer requires screening for other viral respiratory illnesses prior to testing for COVID-19.  
  • Priority groups for testing include: all local healthcare workers, first responders and emergency workers, and higher risk individuals including seniors and those with underlying conditions. 
  • Health clinicians do not need to consult the Public Health Department before gathering and submitting specimens. 
  • Again, if you are sick and presenting even mild symptoms, please get tested for COVID-19. 

Should SLO County Residents Wear Cloth Face Coverings? 

We are recommending face coverings in certain situations. Specifically, if people cannot maintain six feet of physical distance from others outside of the household, we recommend wearing cloth face coverings (such as bandanas or scarves, or homemade mouth and nose coverings), and only if the covering will not obstruct your ability to breathe. 

Wearing a cloth face covering may not protect you from getting COVID-19. But, if used correctly, wearing a cloth face covering may provide some additional protection. 

Here is guidance from the SLO County Public Heath Department, which is line with CDC guidance:

  • Only health care workers and some first responders, and those who are sick should use medical-grade Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as surgical masks or N95 face masks. Please do not purchase these items. These critical supplies must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders and their patients, as recommended by current CDC guidance. 
  • Those who cannot maintain a safe six feet of distance from others outside of the home should wear a cloth face covering – such as a bandana or homemade cloth face covering – that does not obstruct breathing. The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
  • If you wear a cloth face covering in public, avoid touching it and be sure to clean it daily. The County Public Health Department recommends that cloth face coverings be washed daily with hot water and detergent/soap. This point is very important, because it can do more harm than good if you do not keep it clean. We DO NOT want people walking around with dirty cloth face coverings.
  • Wearing face coverings should be used in addition to, not instead of, staying home except for essential activities, washing your hands, maintaining a safe six feet of physical distance as much as possible when you are outside of the home, and
  • If you’re sick with COVID-19 symptoms, stay home. Call your healthcare provider or nearest urgent care to get tested, and follow their instructions. Likewise, if you have a high risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19 – meaning you are 65 or older and/or have other underlying health conditions – stay home. If you are sick or at a high risk of serious complications, do not go to the grocery store or pharmacy. We can deliver food and medicine to your door

We will continue to monitor the CDC and state guidance, and if their guidance changes, we will let the public know.

Cal Poly Alternate Care Site Details

  • Conceptual planning for this site began March 17.
  • Construction began on Monday, March 30.
  • Phase 1, which is 165 beds, was completed Wednesday, April 8.
  • Subsequent phases are being built out now and will be brought online within a few days, as needed.
  • Next phases in the building total 465 beds.
  • Last phase is 300 beds.
  • Total of 900+ beds.
  • Medical services include: Therapeutic oxygen, basic fluids. Supportive care will be provided, not acute care.
  • Staffing will be provided by volunteers from the Medical Reserve Corps. We are currently processing and training more than 250 volunteers to prepare for staffing the facility.
  • No structural changes to the building were necessary. Everything for the facility is freestanding. We are taking care not to damage or alter Cal Poly’s building.
  • Major contractors include RRM, Trust Automation, Thoma Electric, McCall Plumbing and more.
  • Set up costs are about $900K to $1M – about $1,000 per bed.
  • Other costs include about $3.5M for initial medical supplies and equipment.
  • The County’s practice is to budget annually a 5% contingency (approx $26M this year) on the operating budget. The County is using the contingency to fund the ACS and the County’s immediate response to COVID-19.