SLO County to remain in purple tier; 311 new COVID-19 cases added since Thursday

Posted at 1:53 PM, Feb 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-16 16:53:40-05

San Luis Obispo County will remain in the purple tier based on updated reopening metrics released Tuesday.

Last week, SLO County Public Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein said it was possible that SLO County could move to the red tier this week if the county's positivity rates remained low.

The state considers two numbers when it comes to a county's positivity rate - the overall positivity rate and the positivity rate in the lowest Healthy Places Index (HPI) census tracts, the state's health equity metric.

As of last week, both numbers were in orange tier levels and Dr. Borenstein said that even though the county's case rate falls into the purple tier, the county would be able to move up to the red tier if the positivity rates remained orange for two weeks in a row.

This week, the county's HPI positivity rate increased to 5.9%, dropping it back to red tier levels.

The county's overall positivity rate remains orange at 4.3%, while the case rate improved to 15.6 from 19.3 last week. To move out of the purple tier, the county's adjusted case rate per 100,000 residents must be 7 or lower.

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Meanwhile, San Luis Obispo County reported daily COVID-19 case totals for the first time since last Thursday. A total of 311 new COVID-19 cases were recorded between Friday and Tuesday, bringing the county's total to 19,210 confirmed cases as of February 16.

The county also added five new COVID-19 related deaths. To date, SLO County has recorded 210 deaths attributed to the virus.

Health officials say 26 people are currently hospitalized. Another 795 people are recovering at home and health officials say 18,150 people have recovered.

San Luis Obispo County is reporting that 15 of the 38 licensed and staffed ICU beds in the county are currently occupied. Eight of them are taken by COVID-19 patients.

Breakdown of cases by location:

  • Paso Robles - 3,792
  • San Luis Obispo - 3,604
  • California Men's Colony (inmates) - 2,376
  • Atascadero - 1,781
  • Nipomo - 1,439
  • Arroyo Grande - 1,352
  • Grover Beach - 784
  • Oceano - 658
  • Templeton - 568
  • San Miguel - 465
  • Los Osos - 436
  • Morro Bay - 390
  • Cal Poly (campus residents) - 338
  • Pismo Beach - 307
  • Atascadero State Hospital (patients) - 205
  • Cambria - 172
  • Shandon - 135
  • Santa Margarita - 126
  • Creston - 80
  • Cayucos - 68
  • Avila Beach - 26
  • San Simeon - 21
  • Bradley - 7

The locations of 73 additional cases are under investigation, and another seven are listed as "other," which includes communities with fewer than five cases. The Public Health Department is not identifying those locations.

Community COVID-19 testing sites are currently open to the public in San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles, Morro Bay, Grover Beach, and Nipomo.

Appointments are required at all locations. Click here to schedule an appointment.

San Luis Obispo County is currently vaccinating health care workers and residents 65 years of age and older. For details on how to make an appointment, click here.

For more information on the county's COVID-19 response, visit