North SLO County home to more than twice the cases as any other region
After a three week period with average of around 2 1/2 cases per day in San Luis Obispo County, the urgency to reopen spiked, along with the temperature of the area as weather warms. As local leaders begin planning for the opening of sectors of the community, local confirmed cases of COVID-19 also spiked.
SLO County officials credit testing and contact tracing as the reason for the uptick. Due to the County effort in following leads on potential spread from person-to-person, a higher rate of positive cases occurred.
“It is the result of more tests being available, and excellent contact tracing from our dedicated staff,” SLO County Public Information Team member Michelle Shoresman responded to The Paso Robles Press and The Atascadero News by email on Friday. “I’d like to note that approximately one-third of our cases are identified through contact tracing and targeted testing. However, there are more tests available, and many more people taking them, so both are true.”
On Wednesday and Thursday, cases rose by eight and seven respectively, marking the largest two-day gain since tracking of local cases began on March 14. The increase has confirmed many local fears about reopening too early, although SLO County Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein has pushed back on fears this week in her statements at regularly scheduled public briefings.
While the jump in cases will raise red flags about the health of the sleepy SLO County, it has been remarked on by county officials that the jump of 15 in two days is not a high level of concern, so long as local hospital resources are maxed out.
Yesterday, Borenstein said while there is a “green light” in the hospital system, the progress toward reopening the community will continue. While 15 new cases is a cause for alarm, and a warning to local residents to continue following health guidelines, such as distancing and washing hands, the hospitalizations remained at a single case and all of the 15 new cases are mild enough to be recovering from home.
Paso Robles continues to lead all cases with 40, an increase of two since yesterday and as many as all of South County together. North SLO County is home to 81 cases total, with South County the next highest cluster. Atascadero trails Paso with 25 cases, Templeton and San Miguel have seven each. On the coast, there is 11 cases, and Central SLO is home to 17.