Public health officials are urging greater caution in San Luis Obispo County as they eye an uptick in COVID-19 cases.
In data released Wednesday, SLO County is counting 586 new cases in the past week. There are 661 active cases across the county. 13 county residents are hospitalized with the virus, including 2 in the ICU.
Just two people were hospitalized with the virus two weeks prior.
Health officials are not recording any new deaths related to the virus. 501 county residents have died since the pandemic's start.
Health officials are crediting the rise in in cases to variant BA.2.12.1, which they say is highly transmissible and has reinfected some people who recovered from a strain of the omicron variant during the winter surge.
The 14-day daily case average has risen to 67. One month ago, the daily case average was 9.
County public health teams are responding to 24 COVID outbreaks in group settings, officials say.
"While we don't need to panic, we are now in a situation where it is wise to take precautions," Dr. Penny Borenstein, County Health Officer, said in a release. "These case rates tell us it is time to use the tools we have for reducing risk: be careful about gatherings, wear your mask in crowded spaces, stay home and get tested if you are sick."
Borenstein suggested those 50 and older consider a second booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department updates local COVID-19 data each Wednesday.