COVID-19

The United States has lost 10% of its workforce as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Newest reports show that almost 17 million Americans filed jobless claims in the last three weeks. With the economy in a coma, small business owners and workers are struggling to find ways to survive. Are there ways for businesses to get help during the crisis? What are some innovative approaches that companies can use to stay afloat?

Thomas Wilmer

Fort Hunter Liggett, in southern Monterey County, is America’s largest US Army Reserve training installation. It is also a remote community with specific actions being taken during the ongoing COVID 19 crisis. Associate Producer Carol Tangeman visits with Colonel Charles Bell, commander at Fort Hunter Liggett

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The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in San Luis Obispo County has slowed in recent days, say county health officials, but they are urging people with symptoms to get tested.

Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer talks with wine producer Vic Roberts, owner of Victor Hugo Winery in Templeton, about transformations in the wine industry in response to COVID-19.

Greta Mart/KCBX

Mindbody is a health and wellness technology company headquartered in San Luis Obispo, with offices in Santa Maria and around the world. While the current stay-at-home situation may be good for some tech companies, like Zoom, for Mindbody this is not the case. On Thursday, the company announced it is laying off or furloughing thirty-five percent of its workforce. 

Flickr/Paul Hudson

4/2/20 UPDATE: On Thursday, California's governor signed an executive order directing a statewide moratorium on water shutoffs. 

Last year California’s homeless population climbed to 150,000, the most in the nation. Already communities have been struggling throughout the state to deal with this crisis. Now with the outbreak of COVID-19, there are fears that many in this vulnerable population could become infected with the virus. One projection suggests that up to 60,000 homeless in the state could become infected. How can you shelter-at-home when you have no home?

Greta Mart/KCBX

As the novel coronavirus pandemic widens, the acute shortage of personal protective equipment worsens; things like face masks and hand sanitizer. To help meet the great need, Central Coast distilleries are changing their production lines from booze to bottling ethanol-based sanitizer.

Courtesy of Cal Poly College of Engineering

In San Luis Obispo, some Cal Poly professors are using the spring quarter’s curriculum to provide tangible support to doctors and nurses during the pandemic, research the virus, and more—an impromptu study in real-world applications.

The outbreak of the COVID-19 virus is stressful to the community in numerous ways. Individuals may have fear and anxiety about catching the virus for either themselves or their loved ones. People may be experiencing loneliness from isolation due to the stay-at-home orders. And many individuals may have increased worry due to the economic repercussions of the pandemic. How will their business survive? How will they pay their mortgage or rent? How can they get food for their family? The coronavirus can significantly affect mental health for everyone, but especially for those who already suffer from mental illness. How are these individuals able to continue treatment?

On this week's episode of Issues & Ideas, we hear how the pandemic is affecting the hospitality industry in Monterey County, and operations at the SLO County airport. Cal Poly journalism lecturer Kim Bisheff talks about the current media landscape, and suggests ways we can find news outlets we can trust. We visit Atascadero Lake to witness the installation of a new bioswale project and learn how it will improve water quality. And we hear about the hundreds of 'catch-and-eat' rainbow trout just planted in the lake. 

On March 14, there was one confirmed cast of COVID-19 in San Luis Obispo County. Nine days later, as of Monday afternoon, there are 33. Two of those patients have been admitted to a local hospital, one in the intensive care unit.

Thomas Wilmer

Kevin Bumen, director of the San Luis Obispo County Airport, offers insights into the current status of travel by air and specific health and safety responses to COVID-19.  

As coronavirus cases in the world and the U.S continue to soar, we will talk with local experts about what you need to know to stop the spread, stay safe, get tested and how prepared we are to fight this outbreak, as well as what are the political implications of this pandemic for the U.S.

As of Thursday evening, county government and health officials are asking San Luis Obispo County residents to stay at home and refrain from gatherings of any kind. If you do go out, health officials want everyone to maintain a six foot buffer of social distancing.

HelpSLO.com

As health officials began confirming the first COVID-19 cases in San Luis Obispo County, one local woman decided to create a way for people to help each other. HelpSLO is the result.

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Saint Patrick’s Day is upon us and in San Luis Obispo, that usually means crowds of revelers and Cal Poly students hitting the downtown bars and restaurants for some serious partying, starting early in the morning. But in this new reality of the coronavirus pandemic, that’s not going to be the case this year.

As San Luis Obispo County’s public health officer warned earlier this week, it was only a matter of time before the novel coronavirus came to the county. Late Saturday evening, the public health department confirmed the first case—a North County resident has tested positive. 

Governor Gavin Newsom announced Sunday afternoon he is directing Californians aged 65-and-older and the chronically ill to stay home and self-isolate in the face of widening transmission of the coronavirus statewide. Officials are barring visits to hospitals and senior centers, except for end-of-life visits.

Additionally, all bars, nightclubs, wineries and brewpubs are to close, "for now," Newsom said.

In what's looking more like a public health debacle, the U.S. has a serious testing problem with the coronavirus. Only around 15,000 people have been tested so far, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And public health experts say that's not nearly enough to know how widespread the outbreak is and how to respond.

But the Food and Drug Administration has just approved a new test from the giant pharmaceutical company Roche that could represent a major breakthrough.

Coronavirus concerns prompts governor's executive order on large gatherings

Mar 12, 2020
Randall Benton/AP Photo

Large gatherings of more than 250 people should be postponed or canceled, according to an advisory by Gov. Gavin Newsom and California public health officials on Wednesday night.

www.diablocanyonpanel.com

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.

CDC

The San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department says despite reports, the novel coronavirus has not been confirmed in San Luis Obispo County. A local patient tested for the virus strain quickly recovered, according to health officials, and Thursday night, the department announced the test for COVID-19 came back negative.