San Luis Obispo County is again mandating the use of face coverings in all indoor public places.
The Health Officer Order goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. on September 1, 2021.
It applies to people who are unvaccinated as well as those who are vaccinated.
At a Tuesday afternoon press conference, County Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein said the COVID-19 surge has continued to accelerate in the county with 3,543 cases reported in August compared to just 163 cases in June.
Sixty-seven San Luis Obispo County residents are reportedly hospitalized with COVID-19, including 20 patients who are in the ICU.
Dr. Borenstein said that is the highest number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients the county has seen, even surpassing the January peak.
She added that since June 15, 77 percent of the county's COVID-19 cases have been among people who are unvaccinated. She said 86 percent of those who have been hospitalized are unvaccinated, and 79 percent of those who died were unvaccinated.
County officials say that while the vaccine is the most effective tool against COVID-19, universal indoor masking "is the least disruptive and most immediately impactful additional measure to curb the spread of the virus."
San Luis Obispo County Public Health officials on Tuesday reported 592 new cases of COVID-19 since the last report on Friday.
Three additional COVID-19 related deaths were also reported. SLO County has had a total of 284 deaths attributed to COVID-19.
Since the start of the pandemic, San Luis Obispo County has recorded a total of 25,729 positive cases.
Currently, health officials say there are 1,703 known active cases in the county.
SLO County currently has 38 licensed and staffed ICU beds. Sixteen of those beds are currently occupied, all by COVID-19 patients. Four additional patients are reportedly receiving care in ICUs outside of the county.
Free coronavirus testing is available to the public at the old train station in Paso Robles and at the San Luis Obispo Veteran's Hall. Both locations are open Mondays through Fridays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Click here to register for an appointment. Walk-ins are also welcome.
Local urgent cares are also offering testing, but health officials say some facilities have seen an increase in testing appointments, so calling ahead is encouraged.
SLO County Public Health reports COVID-19 case data twice a week - on Tuesdays and Fridays.
To learn more about San Luis Obispo County's coronavirus response, visit readyslo.org.