SLO County officials ask governor to ease shelter restrictions

April 21, 2020

Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham


With San Luis Obispo County having successfully flattened the coronavirus case curve and some residents demanding an end to the statewide shelter-in-place order, a bipartisan group of elected officials is petitioning Gov. Gavin Newsom to allow a phased reopening of SLO County.

Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo) authored a letter along with other local elected officials requesting the reopening. It appears Newsom is hesitant to grant the request, even as SLO County government officials prepare for a phased reopening.

Supervisors John Peschong and Debbie Arnold, as well as the mayors of all seven cities in SLO County, signed the letter to Newsom. The letter states the virus should not be taken lightly, but SLO County has had a declining coronavirus infection rate for more than three weeks.

Currently, there are 134 coronavirus cases in San Luis Obispo County and one death. Only one coronavirus patients is currently in the hospital.

In the letter to Newsom, local elected officials warn of severe economic impacts and subsequent public health problems stemming from a prolonged closure of much of the economy.

“According to the L.A. Times, more than 2.5 million Californians have filed for unemployment over the past month, and an economist has predicted a statewide unemployment rate near 20 percent within the next month. A prolonged recession is likely and becomes likelier each day we keep workers from making a living,” the letter states.

“We know that prolonged recessions cause dire public health issues of their own. According to a report by Harvard Public Health, recessions (and unemployment, in general) cause higher levels of chronic stress, which itself can give individuals a higher risk of heart disease, acute sleep deprivation, depression, decreased response to vaccines and an increase in smoking and drinking alcohol.”

Local elected officials are requesting permission to implement the SLO County Roadmap for Reopening, a plan for a phased reopening that the county will unveil later this week. The reopening would include a robust testing regimen and would comply with both state and federal reopening guidelines, the letter states.

Newsom said he expects to receive more requests similar to the one from San Luis Obispo County. He said his administration will discuss each request with local officials, but he will make a “health-based decision.” [LA Times]

The governor also said, despite different areas of the state being affected differently, the “virus knows no jurisdiction, knows no boundaries. The virus could easily spread into neighboring counties if restrictions are eased prematurely, and there must be a statewide strategy to return to some sense of normalcy, Newsom said.

A protest against Newsom extending the stay-at-home order took place outside the SLO County government center on Monday, in similar fashion to protests that have popped up elsewhere in California.


Eye roll…As if Newsom cares what SLO County wants…HA!


I’m disappointed that many are now polarizing along political lines on this issue. Almost predictably, those on the left want to keep the “Shelter at Home” policies as long as possible, while those on the right want an immediate end to this economic/personal infringement. IMO, the prudent spot is down the middle, open some places ( parks, beaches, trails), small business with careful precautions, and isolate the infirm/vulnerable. AND be prepared to pull back in if the virus re-surges. This virus will be shown to have arrived around Christmas time with holiday travelers from China to the US. Many of us have been exposed and infected, which will be proven over the next weeks.

Shocked in MB


I believe that what you are saying is true-the infections started much earlier and this pandemic gained momentum in-part due to the upcoming elections thus politicizing this “pandemic” on both sides. This is not a medical disaster, it is a man-made disaster.


Simply let the people work!! All these government nitwits are gainfully employed!


I never understood why the initial order to shelter prohibited fishing, but allowed golf. So, sitting in close proximity in a bass boat is bad, but sitting next to each other in a golf cart isn’t. Unfortunately, it appears the idiots aren’t all in Monterey.


Not smart, SLO. Give it more time


Exactly. I fear that investors and big banks will force a reopening because they own the shopping centers and strip malls where small businesses congregate. They are losing millions and once these businesses, such as hair salons and tattoo artists, are back open, they can demand rent even though these places will have very few customers until there is widespread testing.

Mike Pence promised there would be four million tests, ONE MONTH AGO. To date, there have only been three million tests nationwide. Anyone thinking of voting for the failed Trump Administration in the fall should simply look at the economic wreckage done by a total failure of the executive branch of our government to protect America.

South Korea had its first recognized case of COVID-19 on the same day we did. As of today they have only lost 238. The U.S., under a colossal failure from the current administration—Larry Kudlow said on March 1 that we had the virus “locked down”—have lost more than 40k with that number continuing to rise to harrowing levels. And, still, our federal government has no comprehensive plan for testing. Add to that the CDC’s prediction that this virus will be back in force come next fall.


You are factually incorrect on so many levels:

Take South Korea, it’s not all roses there. I know this because I am in weekly communication with two families (Busan and Seoul) and things are not that great. In other words (their words) the Korean handling of this medical emergency has been over hyped by US media. Also, the country is roughly the size of South Carolina with a population a little bigger than California (approx. 54 million). Apples an oranges. The Federal government has done a reasonably good job in this, not perfect but reasonably well with room for some improvement.

Trump cancelled Chinese and European visitors when there were few cases in the US. While the Democrats were busy trying to impeach, hang out in Chinatown (Pelosi) , and call Trump’s action Xenophobic and racist (Biden, CNN, NBC, NY Times, WP, Pelosi…)

Just the facts.


Yes, I certainly realize things are not “all roses” in S. Korea. In FACT, it won’t be “all roses” anywhere until there is a vaccine. But the FACT remains that they have lost only 240 lives while we have now lost nearly 50,000 and counting. They obviously did something we didn’t do. Seems like quite a discrepancy considering each country diagnosed their first case on the same day.

Trump has done nothing but hem and haw, say one thing and then contradict himself within a day or even an hour. And, last time I checked, Democrats did not control the executive branch which oversees the intelligence that would have told us to ramp up testing.

Hell, his own advisers, like Navarro, were telling him this was serious and could kill thousands of Americans. What did he do? He downplayed it consistently—backed by his minions at Fox News—until it became apparent that we were in for real trouble. Face it, Trump is fine when things are going well, but he simply lacks the character to deal with hard issues.

Jon Tatro

While I applaud Jordan’s and SLO Supervisors common sense approach which I believe will work. I have to point out our dipshit neighbors to the north in Monterey County who also control the water in lake Nacimiento. The very day SLO opened up recreational fishing, Monterey County shut it down. Fishing is a uniquely independent and socially distant sport. Idiots


Just to make sure you have your facts straight Jon…

Monterey county paid for the reservoir to be built, and it is not technically a lake.

The rules governing access are set by Monterey. They are still under shelter at home orders so why do you expect it to be open?

SLO has very little control over what happens there. They don’t pay for it.

SLO had the opportunity to share this burden. The voters chose not to long ago.

Monterey taxpayers continue to pay to maintain it, SLO doesn’t.

Monterey also manages the water table much better than SLO does.

Wells in this basin are not hundreds of feet deep. The water basin is not in distress. SLO could learn a thing or two from how Monterey manages this watershed.

The “lakes” are there to ensure salt water intrusion doesn’t occur in the “salad bowl” for the World. The world. A multi-billion dollar industry.

Their foresight in the 1950s ensured a vital resource would be here today. Idiots they are not. The same cannot be said of SLO decision makers of years past.

Recreational activity is, at least, secondary to whatever they do. Steelhead probably rate second, truth be told. I would get used to it.

Enjoy the Morro Bay T-pier, Cayucos Pier, Pismo Pier if you want to fish right now without a license. Or get a license and fish for Perch off the shore. SLO controls all these sites.

Those “lakes” were built to capture water then drain strategically, until near dry.

Or put another way; the dragon was built to be drained.


Actually, Monterey County covenanted many times since the 1950’s to give primacy to recreation of all persons; therefore recreational operations of the reservoir properties are NOT just secondary or gratuitous uses as a reading of Yan’s articulate comments might suggest.

More at on the Nacimiento Regional Water Management Advisory Committee website (an organization largely of shoreline and surface owners and users) which Committee has extensively researched and litigated and tracked Monterey’s sometimes-profligate and capricious reservoir floodgate releases.

Jorge Estrada

I think the intent is to have no place for people to go so that they will stay home. Our resort like county would be inundated by the big city, under house arrest, pressure release thence new microbes.


Love how “reopen” protestors sit in their car and tell OTHERS to go back to work. Their site warns:

Precautions and Safety

Maintain proper social distancing

Wear a protective face mask

Follow hygiene and disinfection practices


Hmm… I take it you may not agree with these precautions?