News Briefs 1-27-2022

Written by Theresa-Marie Wilson

Theresa-Maria Wilson has been a journalist covering the North Coast and South County area for over 20 years. She is also the founder of Cat Noir CC and is currently working on a novel.

January 28, 2022

Possible Paint Job in Los Osos 

The Los Osos Community Advisory Council reports that public works will apply for a grant to provide funding for selected members of the community to paint the cabinets that house all the electrical and communication equipment for traffic signals. The grant application is due February 1 and if awarded this grant, the call for projects would likely be in early 2023. 

The eight traffic signals in Los Osos that would be painted include:

• LOVR at 9th and 10th (combined cabinet)
• LOVR at Doris Ave
• LOVR at Palisades
• LOVR at South Bay Blvd
• South Bay at El Moro
• South Bay at Nipomo
• South Bay at Santa Ysabel

COVID-19 Cases Decrease, Remain High

Confirmed COVID-19 cases for the latest reported numbers on Jan. 21 declined to 1565, down from 2,967 Jan. 7 -13, the highest level in San Luis Obispo County since the pandemic began. The 14-day daily average rose to an all-time high of 517. A total of 9060 cases have been reported so far in January; this compares to 7,437 for the entire month of January 2021. Four more deaths were also reported making a total of 384 in the county.

County Public Health officials also said that an increase in deaths due to COVID-19 would likely be reported in the coming weeks. Local physicians and coroner staff are working through pending records for more than a dozen recent deaths that attending physicians have noted were caused by COVID-19. These records must be reviewed and certified before they are officially reported through the local data dashboard.

As of the last report, 48 people were currently hospitalized due to severe COVID-19 illness, including 10 in the intensive care unit, and hospitals reported severe pressure on their staff and facilities. 

Masking is required in indoor public places in San Luis Obispo County and across California. Medical grade N95/KN95 or surgical masks provide additional protection. 

Vaccines are available at no cost at pharmacies, doctors’ offices, Public Health Department clinics, and mobile clinics countywide. To schedule an appointment, visit, or call (833) 422-4255. 

One Hwy 1 Job Ends; Another Begins

Caltrans has wrapped up work on one Hwy 1 slide area south of Ragged Point, and begun another job further north near the Big Creek Bridge, the agency announced last week.

Work at the so-called “Polar Star” slide area, a mile south of Ragged Point, finished up Saturday, Jan. 22, ending a $1.8 million emergency contract with Souza Const.

And work was slated to begin Monday, Jan. 24 at “Cow Cliffs,” about a mile north of the Big Creek Vista Point (Post Marker 28.2) in Monterey County and last for three weeks. 

That job entails repairing permanent, rock fall netting, which drapes a hillside and keeps rocks that do fall from reaching the roadway. Papich Const., has that $1.3 million contract. 

Work at Cow Cliffs will go on from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, and motorist can expect 1-way, reversing traffic controls and delays of up to 15 minutes. But even with the traffic controls, Caltrans said Hwy 1 is open to through traffic from Monterey to SLO County.

Tsunami Warnings Issued

An underwater volcanic eruption near the island nation of Tonga created a pacific-wide tsunami. The morning of Jan. 15, the National Tsunami Warning Center issued an advisory for the entire West Coast of the US, Alaska and Hawaii. While widespread inundation was not expected, the public was advised to move out of the water and off beaches, and away from harbors, marinas, breakwaters, bays and inlets.

Before daybreak, the Morro Bay Harbor Department coordinated with the City of Morro Bay police and fire departments and the US Coast Guard on a united front to address the advisory, according to a City news release. All public beach access points were posted with the advisory language, and the situation monitored. Out of an abundance of caution, the coast guard and harbor patrol took their vessels offshore initially, but have since been recalled. No evacuations were advised or contemplated.

Tsunami surges continued throughout the day, so the public was advised to remain wary and heed the advice coming out of the National Tsunami Warning Center: Move out of the water and off beaches, and away from harbors, marinas, breakwaters, bays and inlets.

The County Offices of Emergency Services posted on Twitter on Jan. 15 that “Port San Luis continues to have some of the largest surges in the sState.” The area reported a 3.1foot surge from the event.

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