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SLO County close to moving forward in state’s reopening plan, allowing more businesses to operate inside

SLO County Coronavirus 3

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- San Luis Obispo County is now "within sight" of moving forward in the state's recently revamped COVID-19 reopening plan.

On Wednesday, at the county's weekly press conference, Public Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein announced the county is currently meeting both of the state's required metrics to move ahead.

"Yesterday, the state published its update, as it does weekly on Tuesday," said Borenstein. "I'm happy to report that our last week's metrics have us meeting the next less restrictive tier, or tier two, or the red tier."

Borenstein added that it means the county is now into one week of a two week requirement to stay in the current situation

Numbers show the county is reporting a testing positivity rate of 2.9%, which is significantly under the necessary mark of 8% to move forward.

For the first time since the new plan went into effect, the county's case rate per 100,000 is under the state threshold.

San Luis Obispo's case rate is 6.3%, just under the necessary mark of 7%.

"It is both a product of the case rate and there is also an adjustment factor for the amount of testing," said Borenstein. "We have been seeing a lot of increase in our testing, but those situations combined, decreased numbers, increased testing, low positivity rate are putting us in sight of moving into the next most restrictive tier if we continue for another week."

The county will learn next Tuesday if it will be allowed to move into the red tier.

Should that happen, several businesses that are now operating outside, would be allowed to move some of their operations indoors.

"Fitness facilities, restaurants, personal care services, nail salons, tattoo parlors, indoor worship centers, all of those can with modifications, still with distancing, still with capacity limits with different levels, depending on the nature of the business can begin to open for business indoors," said Borenstein.

Also on Tuesday, Borenstein provided an update on the county's plans for Halloween.

Over the past few days, counties across the state have been announcing restrictions on trick-or-treating.

She said county leaders are waiting to hear back on guidance from state officials before making a local decision.

"Yesterday, we learned that the state is planning to issue guidance on how to safely celebrate Halloween," said Borenstein. "We do not want to tell our children and our adults children to not celebrate Halloween, but we would like at this point knowing that the state is going to come out with guidance to allow the state's guidance to come first. When we've gotten ahead of the state in number of situations, we've had to then reconcile our guidance with state guidance, so we thought the best thing to do is to wait."

There have been 3,316 cases of COVID-19 in San Luis Obispo since the pandemic began in March.

Of those cases, 3.091 are reported to have fully recovered.

On Wednesday, the county announced its 27th death, a person in their 80's with underlying health conditions.

California / Community / Economy / Health / Money and Business / Safe at Home / Safety / San Luis Obispo County

Dave Alley

Dave Alley is a reporter and anchor at KCOY|KEYT|KKFX.

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