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San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties say they are prepared for the presence of the coronavirus

Posted at 7:07 PM, Feb 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-28 22:35:34-05

With cases of the Coronavirus now being confirmed in Solano and Santa Clara Counties, the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department says it is prepared and working with community stakeholders.

"Many of us have thought that it was absolutely inevitable that we would see virus cases in the United States and spread among our residents. This first case maybe just the first of many and I would not be surprised to see cases in our community," said Dr. Penny Borenstein, San Luis Obispo County Public Health Officer.

Dr. Borenstein said that while many thought Coronavirus was more threatening... it is similar to the level of severity that comes with the seasonal flu which can still be deadly.

"This disease, though it may affect a lot of people... it will not be on the order of some other diseases we see in terms of the number of critically ill patients," Borenstein said.

Both San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties say they are working with local hospitals, school, and the state department of public health.

"Communication is robust and we are really trying to work together to handle the virus," said Polly Baldwin, Santa Barbara County Medical Director.

The message is clear... public health officials say they are ready and prepared to deal with the presence of the Coronavirus but want everyone to make sure they are doing their part to stay healthy.

Both public health departments do not want to alarm anyone but want to make sure community members are taking extra precautions like having good hygiene and staying home if you are sick.

As of Friday afternoon neither Santa Barbara or San Luis Obispo counties were aware of any cases in the area.

According to Dr. Borenstein, the lab tests for the Coronavirus would not be provided at hospitals but rather is something the county would administer.