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KCBX News Update: SLO Emergency Services tests emergency sirens around county, and Dignity Health hospitals reinstate visitation limits

A polling location in San Luis Obispo prepares for election day.
Gabriela Fernandez
A polling location in San Luis Obispo prepares for election day.

San Luis Obispo County Office of Emergency Services tests emergency sirens around county

San Luis Obispo County residents may hear emergency test sirens around the area, as the SLO County Office of Emergency Services conducts annual maintenance of the early warning system.

Each of the 131 sirens around the county are inspected and tested each year to make sure they’re ready for an emergency.

After each inspection, the sirens undergo what’s called a “growl test” which lasts for a few seconds.

Emergency Services says if residents hear those tests, there’s no need to take action. Full emergency sirens will last for three minutes.

The emergency siren system in SLO County was created as a requirement related to the operation of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant, though the office says it can be used for any local emergency.

The siren maintenance will continue through July.

Dignity Health reinstates patient visitation limits at Central Coast hospitals

Central Coast Dignity Health hospitals are reinstating patient visitation limits amid a surge in coronavirus cases in SLO County.

Arroyo Grande Community Hospital, French Hospital Medical Center and Marian Regional Medical Center are all subject to the new rules.

Among other rules, patients are now allowed one visitor per day in most situations, only one care partner and a doula are allowed for labor and delivery, all visitors must be fully vaccinated or present a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of their visit and masks will need to be worn at all times inside the hospital.

The new guidance is effective as of today.

Dignity Health is a KCBX underwriter.

Benjamin Purper was News Director of KCBX from May of 2021 to September of 2023. He came from California’s Inland Empire, where he spent three years as a reporter and Morning Edition host at KVCR in San Bernardino. Dozens of his stories have aired on KQED’s California Report, and his work has broadcast on NPR's news magazines, as well. In addition to radio, Ben has worked as a newspaper reporter and freelance writer.
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