News Briefs 10-21-2021

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.

October 21, 2021

Four More COVID-19 Deaths Reported

Four more San Luis Obispo County residents, ranging in age from 50 to 80, have died from COVID-19. This marks 335 community members that have succumbed to the virus.
As of Oct. 15, 13 residents are currently hospitalized for severe COVID-19 illness, including four in the intensive care unit.
San Luis Obispo County added 123 new cases of COVID-19 since Oct. 12, the latest update, bringing the daily average to 37 over a 14-day period.
“While our case rates continue to trend downward, we are in an unstable time when this trend could change very quickly,” said County Health Officer Dr. Borenstein. “I want to recognize everyone in our community who is doing your part to stop the spread of disease and bring us to a more stable place. Please, protect yourself and your family by getting vaccinated and wearing a mask while indoors.”

By the Sea Productions Halts Season

Morro Bay’s live theater company By the Sea Productions has officially cancelled the remainder of their 2021 show season due to the still uncertain pandemic situation.
BTSP, formerly Pewter Plough Players, opened their venue in Erickson Hall at St. Peter’s by the Sea Episcopal Church in 2017 and had staged 23 shows before the pandemic shutdown. They re-opened in August this year for a sold-out one-weekend run of “Shirley Valentine,” but the frequently changing mask and distancing requirements made it impractical to attempt additional shows this year.
BTSP President Rhonda Crowfoot assures that “Our theater company is still very much alive and we hope to re-schedule our lost 2020 season in 2022. We are extremely grateful for our supporters, whose donations have enabled us to cover our storage and insurance expenses for these past 18 months, and also to the church for suspending our rent.”
Information on 2022 season show dates will be posted on the BTSP website bytheseaproductions.org and on the BTSP Facebook page.

Halloween Public Health Safety Tips

There is a scary monster out there, but Halloween festivities can still be festive.
The County of San Luis Obispo Public Health Department encourages community members to celebrate Halloween and Día de los Muertos safely and responsibly this year to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
“We encourage our community members to enjoy safe celebrations while protecting each other from COVID-19, especially because younger children are not yet vaccinated,” said Dr. Penny Borenstein, county health officer. “The best way to do that is to limit yourself to smaller gatherings with extra common-sense precautions like wearing a face covering, staying outdoors as much as possible, and staying home if you’re not feeling well.”
Health officials strongly recommend measures to protect against COVID-19: • Get fully vaccinated if you are eligible, as vaccines are our best protection against COVID-19.
• Wear a face covering (fully covering your nose and mouth) indoors and in crowded outdoor places. Masks are required while indoors in public settings. • Stay home if you have, or think you may have, symptoms of COVID-19. The same goes if you are simply not feeling well.
• Practice good hygiene by washing your hands frequently (or using hand sanitizer if you are on the go), and not sharing costumes, props or masks.
• Celebrate outdoors as much as possible, and limit indoor activities such as haunted houses or large indoor get-togethers.
COVID-19 vaccines are widely available at no cost at pharmacies, doctors’ offices, public health department clinics, and mobile clinics countywide. More than 71.9% of eligible San Luis Obispo County residents have received at least one dose of vaccine, and 65.0% are fully vaccinated.
To get your COVID-19 vaccine at a public health clinic in Grover Beach, Paso Robles, or San Luis Obispo, visit myturn.ca.gov or call (833) 422-4255 to choose your location, time, and vaccine type.
See hours and pop-up clinics at www.RecoverSLO.org/Vaccine. To find other vaccine providers, visit myturn.ca.gov or VaccineFinder.org.

SLO Police to Increase Traffic Enforcement

San Luis Obispo will have a bigger police presence on the streets due to grant funding.
The San Luis Obispo Police Department will roll out a police traffic services program to “deter dangerous and illegal driving behaviors” that increase the risk of crashes in the community.
“Impairment, speeding and other dangerous driving behaviors jeopardize the safety of other people on the road,” said Sergeant Jeff Booth. “This funding allows us to provide necessary traffic enforcement measures with the goal of reducing serious injury and fatal crashes on our roads,”
The grant will pay for additional enforcement measures, including:
• DUI checkpoints and patrols specifically focused on suspected impaired drivers.
• Enforcement operations focused on suspected distracted drivers in violation of California’s hands-free cell phone law.
• Bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement operations focused on driver behaviors that put vulnerable road users at risk.
• Enforcement operations focused on top violations that cause crashes: speeding, failure to yield, stop sign and/or red-light running, and improper turning or lane changes.
• Community education presentations on traffic safety issues such as distracted driving, DUI, speeding, and bicycle and pedestrian safety.
• Collaborative enforcement efforts with neighboring agencies.
• Officer training and/or recertification: Standard Field Sobriety Test (SFST), Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) and Drug Recognition Expert (DRE).
The grant program will run through September 2022.

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