Three-day jump is largest surge since tracking began in March

Moments after California Governor Gavin Newsom gave a report on the status of the state on Friday, with recognition of regional conditions that lend authority to local governments in loosening restrictions regarding COVID-19 shelter-at-home orders, San Luis Obispo County reported the largest three-day increase in confirmed cases since tracking began.

With 14 new cases reported on Friday, the three-day total of 29 marks the highest reported spike of all time, and the largest one-day increase. The spike comes on the tail end of a 2-week period totaling 32 cases.

Half the new cases are from Paso Robles, bringing the city totals to 47 cases, and at least 10 active. Three of the cases are from Atascadero, and one from Templeton. North SLO County totals rose from 81 to 92, while the other three cases were South County.

As the breakout continues to centralize in local clusters, the restraint by local communities and observation of distancing, mask-wearing, and other shelter-at-home orders are still considered the top activity to slow the spread.


Considering Paso Robles continues to lead the county in confirmed cases, a local resident is organizing a misguided protest against the shelter-at-home orders.

“When we consider loosening orders, we will consider regional conditions,” Newsom said.

SLO County’s regional conditions appear to be worsening in terms of overall cases, and a jump in two cases of hospitalization. The hospitalization rate is very low, but a sustained increase over time would begin to strain the healthcare system.

Among factors the state is concerned with is capacity of the healthcare system. It is openly acknowledged that the spread of COVID-19 will not be stopped, or even slowed to a stop, but that capacity for care is the purpose of flattening the curve to prevent overwhelming of the healthcare system.

“What is the human resource capacity in case there is a surge?” Newsom presented as a guiding question, which echoes the statements from SLO County Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein.

Of the 14 new cases, 12 are recovering from home, and two are in the hospital. The County is scheduled to provide an update, and explanation as to the increase of confirmed cases at Friday’s 3:15 p.m. briefing from the Joint Information Center in San Luis Obispo.

For more information and updated news on COVID-19 for SLO County, visit our dedicated page.