Starting Thursday, March 19 at 5 p.m., county restricted to ‘essential services’ and limited outdoor activities

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In partnership with all seven incorporated cities in San Luis Obispo County, County Emergency Services Director Wade Horton today issued an executive order for all people in San Luis Obispo County to shelter at home starting tomorrow.

The emergency order is effective Thursday, March 19, 2020 at 5 p.m. and will remain in effect until April 17, 2020. It will be reviewed every 14 days to evaluate the need to continue the order. The intent of the order is to slow the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in San Luis Obispo County by ensuring that the maximum number of people self-quarantine in their places of residence to the maximum extent possible, while enabling essential services to continue. The executive order is in line with what other Counties are doing.


“The health and safety of our community is our top priority. The actions we take today will help us get back to normal as soon as possible,” Horton said. “We made this decision to preserve our health care system and ensure that we have the capacity to care for the sickest of the sick during this pandemic.”

Essential government functions will continue, and essential businesses are encouraged to remain open. All public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a household or living unit are prohibited, except for limited purposes as expressed in the order. This order comes after the release of substantial guidance from the County Health Officer, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the California Department of Public Health.

“We must act to aggressively contain the continued spread of COVID-19 in our community,” Horton said. “We need to slow down transmission of this disease, so our health care system has capacity to care for our community.”

The County Public Health Department is working closely with healthcare providers, hospitals, and community partners to address COVID-19.

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 seven (7) days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for questions related to COVID-19.

Keep informed with North County’s up-to-date COVID-19 page.