Continued uptick of COVID-19 cases puts SLO Co. at risk of moving into more restrictive tier

Posted at 6:22 PM, Nov 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-07 01:20:34-05

With the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in San Luis Obispo County, health officials are urging community members to avoid large social gatherings.

According to health officials in San Luis Obispo County, more than 70 percent of the cases are in the younger, healthier population and many of those active cases are among college students.

"The messaging at this point is not about to stay at home, it never has been, it has always been to move through your community in safe ways," said Dr. Penny Borenstein, San Luis Obispo County Public Health Officer.

With COVID-19 cases increasing this past week, health officials are urging people to avoid large gatherings, especially with the holidays just around the corner.

"Throwing parties, getting all together and I mean I get it, like I want to do that too, but you just can’t right now,” said student Ben Grossman-Thompson.

Borenstein said although Cal Poly students are highly contributing to the number of cases there are other factors.

"We will see a continued uptick in the coming days because of the nature of the congregate living that's where we have seen cases both on and off-campus," she said.

She adds the health department is working closely with campus administration to do aggressive testing, case identification, isolation, and quarantine.

Numbers show that students quarantining in place on campus have increased dramatically from 170 Wednesday to 438 a day later.

"We do have reserves, if you will, of contact tracers. We are pulling them all in this weekend or today starting,” Borenstein said.

The uptick in cases could keep the county from moving into a less restrictive tier.

"I want us to not slip back into purple and I want us to continue to do all that we can collectively to move us forward from red and it may be some period of time given what we are seeing right now,” she said.

Health officials say testing across San Luis Obispo County is still available. They add that it will be another few days before they see whether any new cases are linked to Halloween activities.