SAN LUIS OBISPO — County Public Health Officials expect San Luis Obispo County to end up on the State’s COVID-19 “watch list” soon after the County reportedly exceeded the State’s COVID-19 case rate criteria over the weekend. 

The County Public Health Department recently saw elevated disease transmission, with a case rate of about 114 COVID-19 per 100,000 population over the last 14-day period. The State’s threshold is no more than 100 per 100,000 population over a 14-day period. 

“Our transmission rate doesn’t tell the whole story, but it is potentially a leading indicator,” said Dr. Penny Borenstein, County Health Officer. “These numbers are a strong reminder that we are bringing COVID-19 home — from travel, from work, from outings — and we need take all the necessary precautions to ensure that SLO County can remain open and our health care system can continue to care for the sick.” 

The State’s watch list currently includes more than 20 counties that have been flagged for not meeting the metrics that help show stability. In counties that appeared on the State’s watch list for three consecutive days, the State closed indoor operations of various sectors, as well as bars and beach parking. The State also launched multi-agency enforcement strike teams in those counties to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. 


“The people of SLO County can turn this around if we each do our part,” Dr. Borenstein said. “Wear face coverings in public, stay home when you’re sick, maintain a safe distance from others you don’t live with, practice good hygiene, and stay close to home. These simple things can help SLO County stay healthy and open.” 

Today, San Luis Obispo County is reporting 43 new COVID-19 cases since Monday, with 13 cases in the hospital, including five in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). The disease spreads mostly person-to-person in SLO County, with many of the new cases attributed to travel. 

The County is working closely with two local residential care facilities, which had outbreaks over the weekend. A residential care facility for the elderly in North County and one for adults with developed disabilities in San Luis Obispo each saw residents with COVID-19 who were admitted to the hospital. For updates on COVID-19 in SLO County, visit or call the recorded Public Health Information Line at (805) 788-2903. A staffed phone assistance center at 805-543-2444 is available Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to assist with COVID-19 questions.