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KCBX News Update: SLO County state of emergency lifted, and Carbajal bill introduced in Congress

Courtesy of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

SLO County lifts emergency health declaration 

San Luis Obispo County is no longer under a pandemic-related state of emergency.

County Administrative Officer Wade Horton and County Public Health Director Dr. Penny Borenstein made the move official today after several weeks of major improvement in the county’s COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

The Board of Supervisors approved the state of emergency declaration in March 2020.

Borenstein said, “While these declarations are no longer needed, the Public Health team and local health care providers continue to respond to this pandemic and provide resources, like vaccines and testing, to help residents protect their health and the health of the community.”

Borenstein also maintained that the county is still ready to respond to future surges.

The declarations will be presented to the board at Tuesday’s meeting.

SLO County also released more local COVID data today, reporting six more deaths from the virus, 17 people hospitalized with the virus and 257 new cases between Tuesday and Friday.

The county’s public health website is slopublichealth.org/covid19.

Carbajal safe parking bill included in Housing for All Act introduced in Congress

Central Coast Congressman Salud Carbajal’s bill to provide more safe parking options to people experiencing homelessness has been included in the Housing for All Act introduced today in Congress.

The bill, which will be introduced in both the House and Senate, is aimed at “creating more affordable housing units in California and across the U.S., as well as helping the half a million Americans experiencing homelessness and millions more who are facing eviction or spending more than half of their monthly earnings on rent.”

On May 3, 2021, Rep. Carbajal held a press conference with local officials in Santa Barbara to introduce the Naomi Schwartz Safe Parking Program Act.
Courtesy of Salud Carbajal's office
On May 3, 2021, Rep. Carbajal held a press conference with local officials in Santa Barbara, CA to introduce the bipartisan Naomi Schwartz Safe Parking Program Act.

That’s according to Carbajal, Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA) and Representative Ted Lieu (CA-43), the bill’s authors.

Carbajal introduced the Naomi Schwartz Safe Parking Program Act, named after a former Santa Barbara County supervisor, in the House of Representatives last year.

It was inspired by the first safe parking program in the country, adopted in Santa Barbara in 2004.

The act would establish five-year grants through the Department of Housing and Urban Development for cities and local governments to apply for up to $5 million dollars for safe parking programs, according to Carbajal.

Corrected: March 2, 2022 at 3:42 PM PST
The original article said the bill has been introduced in the Senate already, which it has not.
KCBX News is led by News Director Gabriela Fernandez under the oversight of Programming and Content Director Marisa Waddell. Amanda Wernik and Sarina Grossi are the current reporters, with assistance from reporter/editor Kim Foster Carlson. Posts by "KCBX News Staff" reflect collaborative writing and reporting from multiple news team members and may include work from Fernandez, Wernik, Grossi, Carlson, Waddell and newsroom interns/volunteers.
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