San Luis Obispo County health officials are asking residents to avoid social gatherings, consistent with State Health Officer order, as COVID-19 cases increase in SLO County.

“More cases in SLO County are tied to members of several different households getting together with others through parties, celebrations, and other in-person social gatherings,” said Dr. Penny Borenstein, County Health Officer. “Protect your friends and family by avoiding gatherings. I know this is a difficult ask, but it is a key way we can help slow the spread of COVID-19 to keep SLO County healthy, open and strong as this pandemic continues.”

Case investigations have identified cases spread between different households at holiday gatherings, birthday parties, graduation parties, and other medium or small-sized get- togethers. The nature of these gatherings⎯bringing together people from multiple households for a prolonged time, often indoors or with shared food and beverages⎯create an environment where COVID-19 can easily and quickly spread.

“Nobody wants to infect loved ones, but it’s happening in SLO County. We each have the ability to stop it and slow the spread of this disease,” said Dr. Borenstein. “Staying in touch and celebrating life events is still important. But now is not the time to gather in person, especially if you are or someone you know is particularly vulnerable to serious COVID-19 illness.”

All residents should take protective actions to limit the spread of COVID-19: wear a face covering in public, maintain six feet of distance from others outside your household, stay in SLO County (avoid traveling outside of the county), and wash your hands frequently.

For updates on COVID-19 in SLO County, visit ReadySLO.org or call the recorded Public Health Information Line at (805) 788-2903. A staffed phone assistance center at (805) 543-2444 is available Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to assist with COVID-19 questions.