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KCBX News aims to provide our audience with the latest local and regional information and updates on the coronavirus and COVID-19. We will update this post as new information becomes available.Click on the link in the county name to find important public health resources in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Monterey counties.Click HERE to view a COVID-19 case map of San Luis Obispo County.CLICK HERE TO SEE A TIMELINE ARCHIVE OF EARLIER CORONAVIRUS-RELATED INFORMATION.

Local businesses express support for SLO County mask mandate

Courtesy: Francisco Martinez
Some businesses are expressing support for the latest mask mandate in San Luis Obispo County.

An indefinite mask mandate went into effect last night for San Luis Obispo County and local businesses are now enforcing it.

The mask mandate applies to all indoor public spaces including restaurants, retail stores and fitness centers.

Several businesses are openly expressing support for the new mandate, echoing the need to keep the community safe.

Abby Meyer is the facilities manager at The Pad Climbing gym in San Luis Obispo. She said the gym immediately complied with the mandate. Meyer said some people do have a hard time exercising with masks on but no one has refused to wear one so far.

“I would say the general feeling of the staff is that we are just wanting to follow the county’s policy,” Meyer said. “I would say that members are okay putting masks on but would prefer to not put masks on and climb because it is a strenuous activity.”

Samantha Welch is the operations director for downtown restaurants Novo and Luna Red. She said the mask mandate is a step in the right direction.

“We’ve all been watching the numbers climb and climb and climb,” Welch said. “If this is a measure that can keep us from going back into lock down, then we are all for it.”

Welch said she expects to see some push back from customers over the weekend but she said it will be easier to enforce the mandate since it is coming from the county level.

Beda Schmidthues is the owner of Beda’s Biergarten in San Luis Obispo. He wishes the mandate went into effect sooner.

“I think it came too late. I’ve already had it for a week and a half in my restaurant myself,” Schmidthues said. “We just say, ‘Please protect those that can’t protect themselves.’ I have two little grandchildren and I'd rather err on the side of caution than the other way around.”

Schmidthues said they also canceled their big Oktoberfest event as a precaution.

“It wouldn’t be safe, so we just canceled. It’s all part of it. We’ll get through this but only if we all do our part,” Schmidthues said.

For more information about local COVID-19 cases, click here.

Rachel Showalter first joined KCBX as an intern from Cal Poly in 2017. During her time in college, she anchored and reported for Mustang News at Cal Poly's radio station, KCPR. After graduating, she took her first job as a Producer at KSBY-TV. She returned to the KCBX team in October 2020, reporting daily for KCBX News until she moved to the Pacific Northwest in July of 2022. Rachel spends her off-days climbing rocks, cooking artichokes and fighting crosswords with friends.