SAN LUIS OBISPO — County of San Luis Obispo Public Health officials are working closely with the California Men’s Colony leadership team to manage the COVID-19 outbreak at the facility.

Due to the coordination and collaboration between County Public Health, the prison, local hospitals, and State agencies, SLO County is in a better position than other counties with similar prison outbreaks, officials say.

“A communicable disease outbreak in a prison setting poses a hazard to inmates, employees, and the community at large and we are coordinating with all of our local and state partners to ensure that CMC has the support and guidance it needs to control the spread,” said Dr. Penny Borenstein, County Health Officer. “Correctional, shared or group settings have their own unique challenges for controlling the spread of COVID-19, and our Public Health team is working closely with CMC to take necessary actions and prevention measures.”

The County Public Health Department is also testing CMC staff. So far, about 140 staff members have been tested by County Public Health. CMC has protocols in place that follow California Department of Public Health COVID-19 guidance for correctional facilities.


County health officials say the prison is successfully isolating and quarantining inmates with symptoms or who have tested positive and is providing the necessary care to help slow the spread. Local Public Health officials have also been advising CMC leadership on various health measures to slow the spread and prevent a larger outbreak.

“CMC is proud to be working alongside County of San Luis Obispo Public Health in ensuring the safety of the staff and inmates at our Institution,” said Warden Josie Gastelo.

Over 100 CMC inmates and a dozen staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 in this recent outbreak. As of Monday, 2,254 SLO County residents have tested positive for COVID-19.

For updates on COVID-19 in SLO County, 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.