More than 500 San Luis Obispo County residents have died from COVID-19 as cases gradually increase again.
Four more community members, ranging in age from their 70s to their 90s, recently died from coronavirus. Those deaths brought the total number of COVID-19 deaths in SLO County to 501.
The milestone comes as the California Department of Public Health reports more than 90,000 Californians have died from the virus.
Recently, the United States reported more than 1 million COVID-19 deaths.
The department of public health says COVID-19 cases continue to increase in SLO County as the BA.2.12.1 variant takes hold, now representing around 45% of recently-sequenced cases.
Since last week's report, the department says 353 cases were reported, bringing the 14-day average to 46. That's up from 38 just one week ago.
Seven SLO County residents are currently hospitalized for severe COVID-19 illness, including two in the ICU.
The public health department says it encourages every person to get vaccinated and boosted.
Vaccines and boosters are available at no charge for everyone five and older at pharmacies, some doctors' offices and Public Health clinics.