San Luis Obispo County is seeing a resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic after dropping to near zero new cases in recent weeks, as the virus’ more contagious cousin — the Delta Variant — has invaded the Central Coast.
But while the Delta variant is purported to be more easily transmissible than the original virus, it hasn’t meant a run on hospitals or a big jump in reported deaths.
On July 20, SLO County Health Department announced that it had confirmed 129 new cases of COVID-19 over the prior week. That’s including nine cases “caused by the highly-transmissible Delta variant,” the County said in a news release. “Because not all cases are sequenced to determine their strain, officials say the actual number of Delta variant cases is likely considerably higher. The Delta variant now represents more than 49% of cases sequenced in California.”
“The Delta variant,” SLO County Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein said, “spreads more quickly and easily than other strains of COVID-19, but we each have the power to stop its spread here in SLO County. Get vaccinated, wash your hands often, and get tested if you experience symptoms of COVID-19. If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, it’s essential that you wear a mask indoors.”
The County said anyone who isn’t vaccinated “are at greater risk of contracting and facing serious illness from all strains of COVID-19, including the Delta variant.” But the vaccine appears to be effective against this mutation of the original bug.
“The California Department of Public Health,” the County said, “recently reported that out of more than 20.4 million fully vaccinated individuals, 99.95% have not become ill from COVID-19.” This is also true in SLO County.
“More than ever, we have the tools to stop the spread, protect our loves ones, and put the pandemic behind us,” said Dr. Borenstein. “If you haven’t gotten the vaccine yet, today is the day to make your appointment or walk in to a local clinic or pharmacy. We can slow the spread of this variant here in SLO County.”
To schedule a first or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at a public health clinic, see: myturn.ca.gov or call (833) 422-4255. To find other local vaccine providers, see: myturn.ca.gov or VaccineFinder.org. The vaccines continue to be free of charge and are also available at some pharmacies and doctor’s offices.
According to the County’s statistics, there are now 134 active cases of COVID, including the latest 129 reported July 20, the latest update. Some 21,319 people have had the disease and recovered and 264 people have died of COVID since reporting first began in April 2020.
There are plenty of available ICU hospital beds at this time, as there are 13 of the total 38 beds in use but just one with a COVID patient. Three people were in the hospital with the virus.
As of July 20, the latest update, a total of 758 people in SLO County have been hospitalized with COVID since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. Some 127 went into the ICU and 264 have died.
Among the serious cases, 105 people 85-older have been hospitalized and 125 people have died, including a number of people over 100.
In the 65-84 age range, 289 have been hospitalized with 99 deaths. For 50-64, 191 hospitalizations and 32 deaths and those 30-49, there’ve been 128 hospitalized and eight deaths. There have been 35 people ages 18-29 hospitalized with no deaths and for those 17-under, 10 have been hospitalized with zero deaths.
Paso Robles has again overtaken the lead in total confirmed cases in SLO County with 4,254, with SLO second at 4,084. The California Men’s Colony prison has had 2,383 cases and Atascadero is fourth at 2,126. Nipomo (1,609) and Arroyo Grande (1,543) are the only other towns that have topped 1,000 cases.
On the North Coast, Los Osos has had 521 cases, Morro Bay 451, and Cayucos 71.
Cambria has had 187 cases and San Simeon 21. Cal Poly has had 658 confirmed cases.
For the latest SLO County information on the pandemic, see: www.emergencyslo.org/en/index.aspx