Paso Robles remains the constant leader in COVID-19 cases in SLO County

Three new cases on Thursday follow a familiar trend of late, all being attributed to Paso Robles residents. At 61 confirmed cases, Paso Robles is home to nearly double the number of cases of the next highest city — Atascadero currently stands at 31. In association, the North SLO County is home to more than half the county cases, 108 of 184 total cases.

Also rising, hospitalization gained two — both in the ICU — but that is well below the consideration of capacity for local hospitals, according to health officials. The goal of “flattening the curve” is to slow the spread and maintain healthcare capacity, but there has been mass confusion over what that really means. The disease will continue to spread, and lives will continue to be threatened and even lost as the novel coronavirus makes its way through the population, according to all known models and projections.

Sweden chose to take a looser approach to facing the pandemic, and is set apart as an example of losing more lives early, with the projection to maintain the economy, rights, and lifestyles of 99.975 percent of its population, and save lives as the spread continues over the globe. Of 10 million residents, 21,092 have been confirmed infected, while Anders Tegnell, the chief epidemiologist at Sweden’s Public Health Agency, estimates that 26 percent of Stockholm’s one million residents have contracted the disease — which would be more than 250,000 people in just one Swedish city. With 2,586 deaths now counted as coronavirus-related, it is a fraction of a percent of the population (0.025 percent).

“[Herd immunity] will help us in achieving our goal which is slowing down the spread as much as possible so we can keep good healthcare running,” Tegnell told CNN.


But, every city, county, state, and country must face this virus on its own terms, by the standards of its own traditions, and under its own rule of law. Factors that work into the spread of COVID-19 are both evolving and localized. Both the federal government and state officials have admitted a ground-up approach to facing COVID-19, proving support and guidance to localized agencies in dealing with the pandemic on local terms.

SLO County has been effective, while Los Angeles County struggles. Meanwhile, the best case scenario is that the virus travels slowly through the community, instead of rapidly overwhelming healthcare — as Swedish attitudes illuminate, it is not “if,” but “when” they will get the novel coronavirus that is ultimately the question. SLO County faces the same ultimate reality, according to health experts.

Overall, of 2,890 tests completed for SLO County residents, 6.4 percent test positive, accounting for 0.065 percent of the total county population. The single death represents 0.00035 percent of the population, with 99.99965 percent of the local population so far surviving the pandemic. Those numbers are subject to change as reopening begins to take shape and loosening restrictions meant to slow the spread of COVID-19.