Coronavirus cases in San Luis Obispo County might not reach their peak for months

Posted at 10:56 AM, Mar 24, 2020

Day four of the shelter at home order brought six new confirmed cases of COVID-19 to San Luis Obispo County.

County officials are now tightening restrictions to try to crack down on those violating the social distancing order.

The Pismo Preserve is now closed, and the same could happen at other trails and parks if the social distancing guidelines aren't followed.

"We as a community have to partner in slowing down the spread of this disease and it will take good decisions and sacrifices from everybody," said Wade Horton, County Administrative Officer.

While two people remain hospitalized, some patients have been improving.

"The good news is we can report that three of our cases have fully recovered," said Dr. Penny Borenstein, County Health Officer.

The Public Health Department says they are continuing to meet testing demand with their lab while also getting more help from the private sector.

While testing capabilities are in good shape as of today, there continues to be concern about overwhelming the local health care system.

Therefore, alternative sites in the county are being identified to prepare for the possibility of an influx of coronavirus cases.

"We are coordinating with President Armstrong and Cal Poly staff to assess their facilities, with the exception of dorms and residence halls, to locate an alternative care site," Horton said.

With more people on the Central Coast and across the nation staying home and social distancing when in public, San Luis Obispo County health officials hope these steps will help turn the curve of COVID-19.

But slowing the spread of the virus may take some time.

"My best estimate is that we are looking at a minimum of weeks before we hit the peak number of cases and it may be ever longer," Dr. Borenstein said.