SLO County working on three-phased approach to reopening economy

Posted at 6:22 PM, Apr 27, 2020

As states across the country begin to reopen parts of their economy, San Luis Obispo County is laying the groundwork for its plan to reopen.

While the county isn't going to open up on May 1, it will release its plan to eventually do so.

"We have a long road ahead of us but there is a light at the end of the tunnel," said Jim Dantona, San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce President.

The county announced the three-phased approach will see a gradual loosening of restrictions if health officials deem appropriate, but San Luis Obispo County can't enter phase one until officials get approval from the state.

"I also want to remind people and why I emphasize pre-phase one is because we can't enter phase one until we get the go ahead from the governor," said Dr. Penny Borenstein, County Public Health Officer.

If the state allows SLO County to move forward, health officials say the plan will be adjusted if needed or if cases start to spike over a three-day period.

"Data about these measures will be continually monitored and if there is a spike in new cases or an epidemic curve is imminent, restrictions will be reinstated. In other words, we might have to take two steps forward and one step back," said Dr. Ayden Nazmi, epidemiologist.

One piece of information that the county did reveal about phase one is that it will still recommend that the population most vulnerable to COVID-19 to continue to stay indoors.

The county hasn't stated what industries or services will be able to re-open in phase one, but the plan is to get those answers by the end of the week.