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San Luis Obispo moves forward with reopening guidelines, plans for in-person city council

Courtesy: City of San Luis Obispo
San Luis Obispo City Manager Derek Johnson presents an outline for the city's reopening plan at the virtual council meeting May 18.

The City of San Luis Obispo is planning for the reopening of its facilities in the coming months.

City Manager Derek Johnson outlined a way forward for the city at the May 18 council meeting.

He said the city expects to reopen in alignment with future guidelines from the state.

“Really, we’ll be looking forward to the details that come out from the governor,” Johnson said. “He’s made some statements but the details are unknown.”

California is expected to fully reopen its economy on June 15. Governor Newsom announced the state will also get rid of the color-coded tier system entirely by that date.

Johnson said most city offices will remain closed until San Luis Obispo County reaches the least restrictive green tier, or until the state drops the tier system.

SLO County is currently in the orange tier.

Even if employees return to in-person work, the city strongly discourages indoor meetings and gatherings until the county reaches the green tier.

Johnson said different city facilities, like the Parks and Rec Department or Senior Services, can expect to see different reopening criteria based on the type of work and level of community interaction.

He said the first in-person city council meeting is tentatively scheduled for July 6, barring any new information from the state.

He said the city is waiting to receive guidelines about how to safely run the meeting.

“The seating will be based on public health and other state directives,” Johnson said. “We just don’t know what those are today.”

Johnson said city staff will make recommendations at the July 6 meeting about how best to modify or continue some of the changes made to San Luis Obispo during the pandemic.

Some of those changes include updated signage, outdoor dining or “‘parklet” installation, parking regulations and purchasing guidelines.

He said the new recommendations will align with local, state and federal public health standards and will encourage the city’s economic recovery.

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.