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Cluster of SLO Co. COVID-19 cases attributed to graduation party

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Posted at 12:09 PM, Jun 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-16 15:09:01-04

San Luis Obispo County Public Health officials say a cluster of new COVID-19 cases reported over the weekend can be attributed to a graduation party.

The county reported an increase of 23 cases -- 14 on Saturday, two on Sunday, and seven on Monday.

Health officials say 14 of those cases are the result of the patient having direct contact with another person who tested positive for the virus, five are attributed to community spread, and one is attributed to travel. Three cases are still under investigation.

In a statement released Tuesday, County Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein said, "I understand the increase in cases in recent days may alarm some, yet it is not unexpected as we continue to reopen amid a pandemic. However, our hospitalized cases remain low and cases in the ICU remain low at this time, both of which we will be watching very closely moving forward."

As of Monday morning, five people were reported to be hospitalized, with three of those patients in the ICU.

Also Tuesday, county health officials shared new state guidance regarding activities protected by the First Amendment, including religious services, cultural ceremonies, and protests.

Such activities taking place outdoors no longer have a cap on attendance, as long as physical distancing takes place. However, indoor services remain capped at 100 people or 25 percent of a building's capacity, whichever is less.

Health officials are reminding the public that anyone with symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath, should stay home to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Free coronavirus testing sites are currently open in Grover Beach, San Luis Obispo, and Nipomo. The pop-up clinic in Nipomo will move to Morro Bay on Wednesday, June 17, and Thursday, June 18.

Appointments are required at all locations. Click here to make an appointment.

For more information on the county's COVID-19 response, visit readyslo.org.