San Luis Obispo County officials on Wednesday ordered residents to stay in their homes around the clock for at least two weeks, with some exceptions, starting at 5 p.m. Thursday.
Wade Horton, County Emergency Services director, issued the order in partnership with the county's seven incorporated cities in an effort to contain COVID-19.
A seventh case of coronavirus was confirmed Wednesday in San Luis Obispo County, a South County individual in their 40s with an underlying medical condition, said Dr. Penny Borenstein, County Public Health director.
The order, which is consistent with others issued throughout the state, will remain in place for 30 days but will be re-evaluated after two weeks, Horton said.
Government operations will continue, he said, and “essential businesses” are encouraged to remain open, but all public and private gatherings outside the home of any number of people are prohibited except for limited purposes listed in the order.
Horton said he is expecting residents to "police themselves" in light of the order, which could be enforced with a misdemeanor citation, if necessary.
“The health and safety of our community is our top priority,” Horton said. “The actions we take today will help us get back to normal as soon as possible. We made this decision to preserve our health-care system and ensure that we have the capacity to care for the sickest of the sick during this pandemic.”
Essential businesses are broad, according to San Luis Obispo County Counsel Rita Neal, and include grocery stores, certified farmers markets, laundry services, hardware stores, nonprofits and educational entities that provide essential services, banks, food banks, taxis, agricultural operations, auto repair shops, post offices, gas stations and restaurants, which can remain open for delivery and take-out only.
Additionally, media is allowed to continue functioning, including newspapers, radio and television broadcasts.
Professional services, such as for legal or accounting services, will continue to operate when they are necessary to comply with the order.
Under the order, residents are allowed to leave their homes for "essential activities," which includes taking care of the health and safety of family members and pets, obtaining necessary goods and supplies, outdoor activity and for health-care appointments.
Essential infrastructure activities — including public works projects and airports, will continue to function.
Government services will be limited, although the County is leaving it up to local jurisdictions to define which ones are considered essential. Police, fire and social services will continue to function.
The Sheriff’s Office will continue to provide full service to the county, said spokesman Tony Cipolla.
"First and foremost, we are asking all the citizens of the county to remain calm," Cipolla said. "We understand these are trying times. But remember, the Sheriff's Office mission is to provide service, security and safety to the community. And we can do that if we have everyone's cooperation in being responsible citizens."
Government workers, including first responders, will be allowed to leave their homes to continue their duties.
Borenstein said the worst of the outbreak has yet to come and cases of coronavirus could potentially double each week.
County government officials are acting aggressively to contain the spread of the virus so that the health-care system isn't overrun, Horton said.
An emergency order of 100 ventilators was placed Tuesday at a cost of $500,000 and county officials are in the process of identifying supplemental medical care sites, he added.
Additionally, officials placed an order for FEMA trailers, Horton said.
032720 River Bend Park 01.jpg
032720 River Bend Park 02.jpg
032720 River Bend Park 03.jpg
032720 Coronavirus agriculture 01.jpg
032720 Coronavirus agriculture 02.jpg
Hancock College goes online
032720 National Guard 01.jpg
032720 National Guard 02.jpg
032720 National Guard 03.jpg
032620 Cox family smiles 01.jpg
032620 Hancock food 03.jpg
032620 Hancock food 01.jpg
032620 Hancock food 02.jpg
032520 Hardy Diagnostics test 04.jpg
032520 Hardy Diagnostics test 03.jpg
032520 Hardy Diagnostics test 02.jpg
032520 Hardy Diagnostics test 01.jpg
032520 Coronavirus Trader Joe's 02.jpg
032520 Coronavirus Foodbank SM 03.jpg
032520 Coronavirus Foodbank SM 02.jpg
032520 Coronavirus Trader Joe's 01.jpg
032520 Coronavirus Foodbank SM 01.jpg
032520 Coronavirus Best Buy 02.jpg
032520 Coronavirus Best Buy 01.jpg
032520 Coronavirus DMV.jpg
032420 Coronavirus takeout 02.jpg
032420 Coronavirus takeout 01.jpg
032420 Coronavirus sign.jpg
032420 Coronavirus screeners.jpg
032420 Coronavirus screeners.jpg
Lompoc Urgent Care triage tent
Santa Maria blood drive
Marian Dignity surge tents
LUSD food distribution
032420 LUSD child care 04.jpg
032420 LUSD child care 05.jpg
032420 LUSD child care 01.jpg
032420 LUSD child care 02.jpg
032420 LUSD child care 03.jpg
032320 166 oil spill 08.jpg
032320 166 oil spill 07.jpg
032320 166 oil spill 05.jpg
032320 166 oil spill 06.jpg
032320 166 oil spill 03.jpg
032320 166 oil spill 04.jpg
032320 166 oil spill 01.jpg
032320 166 oil spill 02.jpg
Foodbank volunteers pack for distribution
Santa Maria Costco Friday morning line
032020 Food distribution 05.jpg
032020 Food distribution 04.jpg
032020 Food distribution 02.jpg
032020 Food distribution 01.jpg
032020 Food distribution 03.jpg
VAFB Main Gate
A hopeful message in Orcutt
A hopeful message in Orcutt
031920 COVID-19 Movies 4 Theater.jpg
031920 COVID-19 Santa Maria 05.jpg
031920 COVID-19 Santa Maria 04.jpg
031920 COVID-19 Santa Maria 01.jpg
031920 COVID-19 Santa Maria 02.jpg
031920 COVID-19 Santa Maria 03.jpg
031920 COVID-19 Mask
031920 Marian COVID-19 06.jpg
031920 Marian COVID-19 07.jpg
031920 Marian COVID-19 08.jpg
031920 Marian COVID-19 09.jpg
031920 Marian COVID-19 10.jpg
031920 Marian COVID-19 05.jpg
031920 Marian COVID-19 01.jpg
031920 Marian COVID-19 02.jpg
031920 Marian COVID-19 03.jpg
031920 Eufloria flowers 03.jpg
031920 Eufloria flowers 01.jpg
031920 Eufloria flowers 02.jpg
Solvang Brewing Co. curbside sales
031820 Chromebook loan 03.jpg
031820 Chromebook loan 04.jpg
031820 Chromebook loan 05.jpg
031820 Chromebook loan 01.jpg
031820 Chromebook loan 02.jpg
Lompoc Valley Medical Center coronavirus screening
031720 Lompoc Council 01.jpg
031720 Lompoc Council 02.jpg
031720 Lompoc Council 03.jpg
031720 Lompoc Council 04.jpg
031720 Snow Figueroa Mountain 02.jpg
031720 Snow Figueroa Mountain 03.jpg
031720 Snow Figueroa Mountain 01.jpg
031620 SM schools coronavirus 04.jpg
031620 SM schools coronavirus 05.jpg
031620 SM schools coronavirus 06.jpg
031620 SM schools coronavirus 03.jpg
031620 SM schools coronavirus 01.jpg
031620 SM schools coronavirus 02.jpg
031620 Lompoc schools coronavirus 02.jpg
031620 Lompoc schools coronavirus 03.jpg
031620 Lompoc schools coronavirus 01.jpg
031320 Lompoc closures 02.jpg
DeWees Center closures
031320 Oasis senior center 01.jpg
031320 Oasis senior center 02.jpg
031320 Oasis senior center 03.jpg
031220 SMJUHS athletics suspended 01.jpg
031220 SMJUHS athletics suspended 02.jpg
031220 SMJUHS athletics suspended 03.jpg
031220 Costco coronavirus supplies 02.jpg
031220 Costco coronavirus supplies 03.jpg
031220 Costco coronavirus supplies 01.jpg
031120 Hancock coronavirus 01.jpg
031120 Hancock coronavirus 02.jpg
031120 Hancock coronavirus 03.jpg
St. Mary of the Assumption
031020 Coronavirus church guidelines 02.jpg
031020 Coronavirus church guidelines 01.jpg
030920 Coronavirus shortages 01.jpg
030920 Coronavirus shortages 02.jpg
030920 Coronavirus shortages 03.jpg
Dispenser of hand sanitizer at Santa Maria Airport
030320 LVMC coronavirus preparation 01.jpg
030320 LVMC coronavirus preparation 02.jpg
030320 LVMC coronavirus preparation 03.jpg
030320 LVMC coronavirus preparation 02.jpg (copy)
Concerned about COVID-19?
Sign up now to get the most recent coronavirus headlines and other important local and national news sent to your email inbox daily.