10 new COVID-19 deaths reported in San Luis Obispo County

Serious coronavirus-linked condition hit 285 US children
Posted at 7:16 PM, Jul 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-07 00:13:55-04

Coronavirus cases continue to spike across California. Now two-thirds of the state’s 58 counties are in the high COVID-19 community level.

Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties both remain in the medium COVID-19 community level but according to San Luis Obispo County Public Health’s website, hospitalizations and deaths have spiked since the last data update.

Eighteen hospitalizations, 10 new deaths and 500 new cases were all reported in the last 7 days. Yet in total, SLO County saw a drop in active cases from the last report.

While the number of deaths seems striking, it’s due to a backlog from months prior.

"There’s a process that we have to follow in conjunction with the county and state so it takes some time to report and confirm these deaths and unfortunately, we reported 10 deaths today and they date back from the last week of May through June," explained Tom Cuddy, SLO County Public Health Department Public Information Officer.

On the upside, although hospitalizations continue to increase, the severity of the cases has lessened, health officials say. Of the 18 people in the hospital, none of those patients are in the ICU.

That is attributed to the BA.5 variant of Omicron that medical professionals believe does not cause more severe illness and which makes up approximately 40 percent of recently sequenced local COVID-19 cases.

Comparatively, the county is still doing better than the rest of the state but whether we’re trending toward joining them in the high COVID-19 community level is still unclear.

"There's a silver lining out there and it's that our 14-day average is at 68, down from 73 last week. The fact of the matter is we're clearly in an unstable time and encourage community members to not let down their guard," said Cuddy.

With cases in the state still on the rise, the health department's advice is to mask up, use hand sanitizer and of course, stay home if not feeling well.

When asked about the possibility of a mask mandate coming back to San Luis Obispo County, the health department stood by its previous statement, saying there are still no plans to make them mandatory but they do say it is recommended that all citizens wear masks in public spaces.

In Santa Barbara County over the last 7 days, the test positivity rate has increased 7 percent. Meanwhile, COVID-19 related hospitalizations have also been increasing, and ICU admissions began to rise. There are currently 4 patients in the ICU.