Community works simultaneously on plan to reopen safely

The County of San Luis Obispo’s Executive Order to Shelter at Home remains in effect while the community works to develop a clear plan for safely reopening.

“Our goal is to be ready when the Governor lifts the State’s Order and transitions all authority back to local officials,” County Emergency Services Director Wade Horton said. “With our order in place concurrent with the State’s order, we still have some local control over what we can do. If we lift our order, we are completely under the State’s authority.”

Residents of all California counties remain under the statewide Executive Order to Stay Home Except for Essential Needs signed by Governor Gavin Newsom.

The local order went into effect on March 19, 2020 and calls for a review every 14 days to evaluate whether it should be modified, rescinded or continued. Today marks the second 14-day review. The order has been continued until May 16, 2020 and will continue to be reviewed every 14 days.

“Our community has been successful thus far in bending the curve and we’re now planning how we safely transition to a new normal” said Horton. The County’s Executive Order aligns with State guidance and similar orders for counties across California.

For updates on COVID-19 in SLO County, visit or call the recorded Public Health Information Line at (805) 788-2903. Contact our staffed phone assistance center at (805) 543-2444 for questions related to COVID-19 – assistance is available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends.

The 14-day Evaluations

According to Newsom, the state will review the circumstances on a 14-day period, and if hospitalizations, ICU populations, and overall confirmed cases decrease over 14 days, the plan to reopen will be put into action. Currently, the plan is being formed, and California as a whole is still at the start of any 14-day period that would call for a reopening plan.

San Luis Obispo County, however, has already accomplished the “flattening” over a 14-day period. On April 4, SLO County saw the first day in two weeks that no new cases were reported. It was the start of a 14-day period that saw 34 total new cases, and 50 recovered cases. Hospitalizations have been held to a manageable level and the single coronavirus-related death remains SLO County’s lowest point in the battle against COVID-19.

In his Tuesday announcement, Newsom restated that the State will grant authority to local municipalities or counties to make the decision on when to begin the recovery process for communities and for economies.

For up-to-date numbers and information, go to our dedicated COVID-19 page.