SLO County guide for phased reopening expected Friday

Apr 30, 2020

On Wednesday, the name of San Luis Obispo County’s reopening plan was revealed—the START guide, or ‘Steps To Adapt and Reopen Together.’ Expected to be released Friday, county health officer Dr. Penny Borenstein said it’s not going to be a set-in-stone plan.

“That's why we're calling it the START guide,” Borenstein. “I don't want people to be disappointed if they don't see the level of detail or specificity that they're hoping for. I know we've built this up, but I do want the public to understand that we are hearing you.”

A key item mentioned today is that starting next week, more widespread, free testing for COVID19 will be available, starting in Paso Robles and Grover Beach. A state contractor is setting up testing centers, according to county officials.

“It will be based on appointment,” Borenstein said. “So when you begin to hear the information about the where, when and who, make sure that you have either the capacity to go on line and schedule an appointment or we will also be making available a phone bank for appointments.”

Described as being open weekdays for 12 hours a day, Borenstein said the testing centers will be able to process a little over 250 people a day, and those with symptoms or at higher risk will be prioritized. Borenstein confirmed that the testing will be provided at no charge and said more information will be released in the coming days.

At Wednesday’s briefing, Borenstein again asked the community to be patient.

“We have the potential at this moment to be very fractured,” Borenstein. “We're hearing very different voices on what we should do moving forward, and so I want to ask of our community to continue to go down this road together.”