New reality for Central Coast: remote learning and virtual public meetings

Mar 10, 2020

While there are still no confirmed coronavirus cases in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, the spreading COVID-19 outbreak is now interrupting daily life on the Central Coast.

UC Santa Barbara has suspended in-person classes, switching to “remote learning” until April. The school is also warning students they may have to stay away from campus throughout April if they chose to travel for spring break.

Wednesday evening there’s a key meeting about the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant at the county government building in downtown San Luis Obispo. But the public is now being asked to stay away, attending only by livestreaming the meeting.

On tap for Wednesday's Diablo Canyon Community Engagement Panel meeting are updates on "critical PG&E matters," the land surrounding the plant and the timing of decommissioning.

Tuesday evening, a PG&E staffer sent out an email blast, saying the public meeting will be held “electronically only,” and that the county had advised the panel to do so. There are two different websites from which to stream the meeting, and on the panel’s website, there’s a form to communicate with the panel staff and members.

“Participants will be able to submit comments and ask questions using the online comment form on the Panel website during the meeting,” read the email from PG&E media representative Hillary Bouchenot.

"We won’t lock the doors to the meeting but encourage your online participation," panel member Kara Woodruff wrote in a Tuesday evening email to her listserv. 

The meeting starts at 6 p.m. on March 11. To virtually attend the meeting, and for more info, go to or