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San Luis Obispo County issues new health order as COVID-19 cases surge


SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif. -- The SLO County Public Health Department replaced individual isolation/quarantine orders with a new health officer order as local COVID-19 cases increase at a rapid rate.

The department says if you test positive or have symptoms of COVID-19, don't wait to isolate.

In a press statement released on Friday afternoon, the health department said it will "no longer provide personalized isolation and quarantine orders to each individual who tests positive or has been exposed to COVID- 19."

"Instead, a new Health Officer Order to Isolate or Quarantine applies to all those who test positive and their close contacts," the release read.

The department said this recent surge in local COVID-19 cases is beyond the capacity of local contact tracers to keep up.

“The bottom line is, stay home if you are sick or if you test positive for COVID-19 with a lab test or a home test,” said Dr. Penny Borenstein, County Health Officer. “If you’re a close contact of someone with COVID-19 and aren’t up-to-date with your vaccination, you need to quarantine."

"In either case, act immediately and do not wait to hear from a contact tracer or expect to receive a personal letter,” said Borenstein.

The press release states the new order reflects recent changes from the CDC and California Department of Public Health regarding quarantine and isolation.

The health department says the updated guidance includes links to forms that individuals may use to self-attest and receive documentation of their need to quarantine and of their release from isolation or quarantine.

“If you meet the criteria to exit your isolation or quarantine after five days, please remember you must be extremely diligent in masking until after day ten,” said Borenstein. “That means avoiding places where you might take off your mask, like restaurants, bars and movie theaters, and places where you might breathe heavily around others, like the gym.

The SLO County Board of Supervisors is also making modifications due to the surge. The next meeting will be held virtually on Zoom like the height of the pandemic.

Dr. Borenstein will also provide a COVID-19 update to the board Tuesday.

To access zoom information to attend the meeting virtually, and comment, click here.

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Lily Dallow

Lily Dallow is a digital journalist and assignment editor at News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Lily, click here.

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