San Luis Obispo County Public Health officials are reporting 824 new cases of COVID-19 and an increase in hospitalizations since the last report on Tuesday.
There are 2,274 known active cases of COVID-19 in the county with 38 people in the hospital. Seven of those patients are in the ICU.
On Tuesday, the health department reported 30 hospitalizations.
"We must now work together to get through this surge without a crisis to our health care system," Dr. Penny Borenstein, County Health Officer, said in a press release issued Friday. "Please, do not go to the ER for COVID-19 testing or mild symptoms. However, if you have trouble breathing, persistent pain in your chest or other severe symptoms, please take that seriously and get medical care."
No new deaths were reported on Friday. San Luis Obispo County has recorded a total of 373 deaths attributed to COVID-19.
The county's 14-day case average is now up to 228, the highest it's been since January 2021.
County health officials say the current surge of cases is likely due to holiday gatherings and travel as the highly-contagious Omicron variant was beginning to spread.
Officials say the Omicron variant now represents about 70 percent of recently sequenced cases in the county, surpassing the Delta variant which now makes up about 30 percent of cases.
Health officials say people who have recently traveled, gathered with a group, or been exposed to someone with COVID-19 should get tested three to five days after the exposure or travel.
Free coronavirus testing is available to the public in Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, Grover Beach, and Morro Bay. Click here to register for an appointment.
Local urgent cares and many pharmacies also offer testing. Calling ahead for availability is encouraged.
According to figures from Public Health, from June 15, 2021, to Jan. 5, 2022, San Luis Obispo County residents who are not fully vaccinated made up 71.3% of cases, 81.8% of hospitalizations, and 73.4% of COVID-19 deaths.
A little more than 65% of eligible SLO County residents are vaccinated as of January 3.
SLO County Public Health typically 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.