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San Luis Obispo County Health issues criteria for ending indoor mask mandate

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Posted at 1:36 PM, Oct 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-21 00:20:29-04

The San Luis Obispo County Health Department has released official criteria that could potentially discontinue indoor masks requirements.

Health officials are reverting back to the old tier system used by the State's Public Health Department. San Luis Obispo County is currently in the orange tier, as classified as the substantial tier.

The ongoing mask mandate began on Sept. 1 because of a sudden increase in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the county.

There have been a reported 186 new COVID-19 cases in the county since Friday bringing the cases from a 14-day case average to 40.

County health officials say they have seen a decrease in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations due to vaccine accessibility and face coverings being required indoors.

With the winter season fast approaching, the criteria established is considering the protection of local hospitals and community safety, according to the health department.

“Lifting the indoor mask mandate prematurely, while there is still substantial COVID-19 transmission and as we head into the winter months when hospitals typically see a surge from other respiratory conditions, will only land us right back where we were before the mask order was put in place,” said Dr. Borenstein.

The criteria include San Luis Obispo County moving into the yellow tier, which is the moderate level of transmission, and staying there for a ten-day incubation period.

Secondly, COVID-19 hospitalization rates must stay “low and stable” to accommodate the needs of all patients.

According to SLO County Health, 78% of new COVID- 19 cases are from those not fully vaccinated, as well as 84% of hospitalizations and 79% of deaths.

Information to sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine can be found at public health clinics in Grover Beach, Paso Robles, or San Luis Obispo, at this website and by calling 833 422-4255.

To stay up to date on COVID-19 statistics in San Luis Obsipo County, visit readyslo.org.