Parking citations on freeze during current phase of pandemic

On Tuesday, May 5, Paso Robles City Council members held the City Council meeting, which streamed live on YouTube.

To no one’s surprise, the current COVID-19 Pandemic took over the meeting’s topics.

Paso Robles Fire Chief, Jonathan Stornetta, provided an update on the current COVID-19 situation in Paso Robles.

Since their last city council meeting on April 21, San Luis Obispo County has seen an additional 70 cases. The majority of the SLO County positive cases have come from the Paso Robles area. All 72 positive cases in Paso Robles account for regions within the 93446 area code. Currently, there were 18 active cases within Paso Robles city limits, not counting the four additional cases since Tuesday.

Despite these numbers, Stornetta reports, “The latest data indicates that 95% of us still have not been infected”.

Still, to reduce exposure, Stornetta says, “I urge all residents to continue wearing cloth face covering when you go out in public and use social distancing and disinfect often.”

The fire department has seen an increase in emergency calls related to COVID-19. Currently, 11% of their calls are related to COVID-19 in Paso Robles alone.

Paso Robles has been selected as a CA OptumServe testing sight, located at the Paso Robles Veterans Hall, 240 Scott Street. By appointment only, residents can be tested for COVID-19.

Paso Robles Veteran's Memorial
Paso Robles Veteran’s Memorial Building. Google Maps Image

Monday, May 4, was the first-day testing opened at the location. On the first day, 124 individuals were tested. The facility can test a total of 132 people per day. Test result turnaround time is 48-72 hours versus some private labs that can take up to five days. No word yet on how many of those individuals tested positive.

The test available is only to determine if the patient currently has COVID-19 and does not test for COVID antibodies.

Insurance information will be collected when you register, but there will be no copay required. The State of California will pay for your test if you do not have health insurance, but a driver’s license or ID card is required.

Registration is not done in person. For more information and to register for testing, visit readySLO.org (LHI.care/covidtesting) or call 1-888-634-1123.

Per Governor Newsom, as early as Friday, May 8, retail businesses may open for curbside pickup or delivery. He also announced a new framework that would allow low-risk counties to move more quickly through the reopening phases.

On Friday, May 1, SLO County issued “The Start Guide: Steps to Adapt and Move Forward Together.” The county’s guide to reopen contains three phases for reopening. Currently, we are in a pre-phase one.

Local epidemiological data and SLO County’s Health Care capacity shows that we are ready to move forward. Three things must happen before the county officially moves into Phase One. First, the state must lift the stay at home order. Second, the state needs to allow for more local control. And third, the county must issue another executive order to move into Phase One.

If the county were to move forward with their plan, personal care businesses like salons and gyms would open sooner than they would under the state’s plan.

Until the county receives approval from the State, SLO county will follow the State of California’s plan for reopening.

For more information on the county’s Start Guide, visit readySLO.org.

Due to social distancing, downtown Paso Robles has been fairly vacant. What does this mean for the new parking meters?

Well, the less the meters are used, the less the city pays to Dixon Resources. Paso Robles parking contract with Dixon Resources is billed by the hour depending on how much they are used rather than a flat monthly fee.

Per Police Chief Ty Lewis, no citations are being made for parking meter violations. This may continue until more normalcy is seen again in downtown Paso Robles.

While COVID-19 takes over our conversations, the city of Paso Robles is beginning to see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.

Getting through this together, Paso Robles