By KAREN VELIE
San Luis Obispo City residents younger than 30 account for a growing share of new COVID-19 cases in SLO County, with a slight increase in infections stalling the county in the red tier.
Last week, the county began vaccinating people 50 and above while announcing residents over 30 years of age could now sign up for the vaccine. With more than 140,000 vaccine doses already administered in the county, the number of people in the hospital has fallen from a high of 51 on Jan. 1 to currently only six.
During the past seven days, people below 30 years old accounted for 48% of all COVID-19 cases diagnosed in SLO County. That is up from 16% during the first week of the year for the under-30 crowd.
During the past seven days, SLO City residents accounted for 41% of all new cases, up from 10% the first seven days of 2021.
For more than a month, the number of new cases in SLO County declined rapidly, with the county achieving tallies required to enter the less restrictive orange tier. The decline stopped shortly after hundreds of primarily college-age students attended “Saint Fratty’s Day” parties in SLO.
In order to enter the orange tier, the number of new cases and positivity rates must remain at a lower level for at least two weeks. In the orange tier, many businesses can increase revenue because of relaxed restrictions:
- Breweries, wineries and distilleries that don’t serve food can reopen indoors at 25% capacity.
- Bars that don’t serve food can reopen indoors at 25% capacity.
- Retail stores, hair salons and nail shops can increase occupancy from 25% to 50%.
- Indoor pools, bowling alleys and card rooms can operate at 25% capacity.
Of the 42 new coronavirus cases in SLO County over the past two days, San Luis Obispo leads with 17 new cases, followed by Atascadero and Paso Robles with six cases each.
As of Friday afternoon, 20,547 people in SLO County have tested positive for the pandemic. Of those, 256 have died. There are six SLO County residents in the hospital receiving treatment for the virus, with one in intensive care units.
Cases by area:
- Paso Robles – 4,045
- San Luis Obispo – 3,993
- California Men’s Colony (inmates) – 2,384
- Atascadero – 1,956
- Nipomo – 1,545
- Arroyo Grande – 1,443
- Grover Beach – 861
- Oceano – 690
- Templeton – 610
- San Miguel – 519
- Los Osos – 477
- Morro Bay – 418
- Cal Poly (campus residents) – 373
- Pismo Beach – 334
- Atascadero State Hospital (patients) – 206
- Cambria – 177
- Shandon – 139
- Santa Margarita – 140
- Creston – 85
- Cayucos – 69
- Avila Beach – 30
- San Simeon – 21
- Bradley – 7
In Santa Barbara County, there have been 33,270 confirmed coronavirus cases and 440 deaths, according to the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department.
Cases by area:
Santa Maria — 11,206
Santa Barbara — 6,229
Lompoc — 3,533
Orcutt — 1,766
Lompoc Federal Prison — 1,089
There have been 3,675,660 positive cases, and 59,610 deaths in California.
More than 31,366,146 U.S. residents have tested positive for the virus, and 565,254 have died.
In addition, the number of people infected with the virus worldwide continues to increase: 131,236,247 cases with 2,855,519 dead.