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‘COVID-19 paradox’ continues following winter surge 


Fourteen-day case average is currently 27, down from 207 one month ago

– Each surge of COVID-19⎯nationwide and in SLO County⎯has generally been followed by a later surge in deaths as those who have struggled for weeks with severe illness succumb to the disease. This is what health officials are currently reporting in SLO County. COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have continued to gradually decline from the recent Omicron-fueled surge. However, the impact of this surge is still seen in continued high numbers of COVID-19 deaths.

Since last week’s report, the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department has confirmed that ten more SLO County residents—ranging in age from their 40s to their 90s—have died from COVID-19.

“I am grateful to see cases declining and fewer people suffering from severe COVID-19 that requires hospitalization, and I also want to extend my sympathy to those who are personally feeling the continued pain of this surge in the loss of a loved one,” said County Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein. “While we believe the decline in reported cases represents a true downward trend, these numbers do not represent all cases as at-home testing has become more available. The virus is unfortunately still spreading at a higher level than any of us would like to see.”

COVID-19 vaccines, testing, and FDA-approved treatment options are widely available in SLO County. Because treatment is most effective when started in the first days of illness, it is important for those who are at high risk (anyone over age 65 or who has certain medical conditions) to test early and notify their doctor of a positive test.

“Now is the time to protect yourself with the vaccine or a booster if you haven’t, and to be aware of your testing and treatment options in case you need them,” said Dr. Borenstein. “This virus is not yet done with us, but we can now take actions to protect ourselves and keep it at bay.”

Since last week’s report, 147 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in SLO County, bringing the 14-day average to 27, down from 207 one month ago. Nine residents are currently hospitalized for severe COVID-19, down from 67 at the peak of the surge in January. Case counts do not include at-home or rapid antigen tests. Hospital counts do not include those who have COVID-19 but are primarily receiving care for another condition.

To schedule a vaccine appointment, visit slopublichealth.org/vaccines or call (833) 422-4255. To schedule a testing appointment, visit slopublichealth.org/testing or call (888) 634-1123. To order free at-home tests, visit CovidTests.gov. For COVID-19 updates in SLO County, visit slopublichealth.org/COVID19 or call the recorded Public Health Information Line at (805) 788-2903. Phone assistance is available at (805) 781-5500 Monday – Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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