SAN LUIS OBISPO — The State of California issued a Regional Stay-at-Home Order on Thursday requiring Californians to stay at home as much as possible to help stop the surge of COVID-19 and prevent overwhelming regional intensive care unit (ICU) capacity.

This order means San Luis Obispo County businesses should prepare for additional restrictions and closures from the State as soon as this weekend.

The order focuses on slowing the spread by region. SLO County is in the Southern California region, projected to reach the State’s ICU capacity limit by Friday, Dec. 4. 

The Order will go into effect within 24 hours in regions with less than 15% ICU availability. After that, the State may lift the order when a region’s ICU usage drops below 85% of its capacity.

“We’re disappointed to be included in the Southern California region for this Stay-at-Home Order because SLO County is relatively healthy and our hospital and ICU bed usage remains low,” said Dr. Penny Borenstein, County Health Officer. “Sheltering at home is a tremendous sacrifice. Yet SLO County has proven that we are resilient — we will get through this by taking care of each other, keeping ICU bed usage low, and preparing for a vaccine.”

When in effect, the order will result in closures of various sectors, including indoor and outdoor playgrounds; hair salons and personal care services; wineries, bars, breweries and distilleries, and more. However, certain sectors can remain open with modifications, including outdoor recreational facilities, retailers (20% capacity limit), restaurants (take-out, pick-up or delivery only), hotels (for critical infrastructure support), and others.

Critical infrastructure sectors, schools that are already open for in-person learning, childcare, and pre-K, and medical and dental care may remain open. The order allows access to critical services and allows outdoor activities for physical and mental health.

“Now is the time to rally around and take care of our local businesses and neighbors,” said Dr. Borenstein. “If you can, shop from local retailers online from the safety of your home, order take-out from local restaurants and eateries, and support local nonprofits. If you are struggling, help is available. Visit for local and State resources to help you get through this time.”

For more information, visit or call the recorded Public Health Information Line at 805-788-2903. A staffed phone assistance center at 805-543-2444 is available Monday-Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to assist with questions related to COVID-19.