pandemic

Angel Russell/KCBX

Appointments are filling up as San Luis Obispo County made the first round of COVID-19 vaccinations available to more of the community.

Figueroa Mountain Brewing

Over the past decade, people around the world have started to observe 'Dry January,' abstaining from alcohol for the month for a healthier start to the new year. But one Central Coast brewery is hoping people place that goal on hold this year.

Courtesy of SBUSD

The Santa Barbara Unified School District has adopted a new grading policy for secondary students—grades 7-12—as they continue with distance learning.

By a unanimous vote, the school board passed a grading policy that now includes an option for a grade of 'No Credit' in lieu of an F.

Angel Russell

After closing once again in December due to concerns about visitors not following COVID-19 public health guidelines, SLO County's Pismo Preserve is now reopened, but with limited hours.

The Mask Map is a website where people can post their opinions and experiences on whether a store or other business is following pandemic-related mask mandates. But some business owners caution the website may not accurately reflect a businesses' position or enforcement of social distancing rules and mask wearing. 

John Minchillo/Associated Press

In a year when the coronavirus has racked up an immense death toll, health officials say there is an overlap with another staggering figure—Americans dying from overdose in record numbers throughout the country, and that trend is being seen in San Luis Obispo County.

In this episode of Issues & Ideas, we learn about a project aimed at addressing climate change by planting trees in Stockton and renewing urban forests. A new law could help many musicians and performers in California once venues reopen. You’ll hear about a local company called Comevo that experienced success during the pandemic and stepped up to help others. The San Luis Obispo County Library system has faced challenges this past year, but continues to move forward with innovations and a lot of hard work. And finally, a local resident has been planting lots of fig trees from cuttings, and we’ll share some ideas about gardening, cooking and eating figs.

Angel Russell

While many are waiting to see when they'll get the new stimulus check, an estimated 9,000 undocumented residents of SLO County may be excluded. That's where SLO County UndocuSupport is helping out.

Healthcare workers across the Central Coast have stepped up and cared for COVID-19 patients under diffi­cult circum­stances. Those we spoke to say with a vaccine now here, hope is on the horizon.

County of San Luis Obispo Public Libraries

As SLO County COVID-19 cases rise and the demand for testing is increasing, three more county libraries are closing because librarians and other staff are answering the call to help the county in its COVID19 response.

SLOCalFire

Firefighters across San Luis Obispo County are getting infected with COVID-19, or have been ordered to stay home in quarantine due to possible exposure. Fire officials are urging extra vigilance to ensure departments can respond to emergencies. 

Downtown SLO

With new state-mandated economic restrictions in place due to a surge in COVID-19 cases, the cities of San Luis Obispo and Grover Beach are pumping more money into helping local businesses stay afloat.

On this week's edition of Issues & Ideas: Chris Lambert created the podcast "Your Own Backyard," about Kristin Smart and the nearly quarter-century-long unsolved case of her disappearance from San Luis Obispo's Cal Poly campus.

Jocelyn Brennan, South County Chambers

In response to the state’s stay-at-home order now in effect, local business groups are circulating an online petition, urging Governor Newsom to exclude San Luis Obispo County from the new lockdown.

Updated at 6:20 a.m.

Nearly 85% of California residents are now under sweeping new restrictions as the state's struggles to bring the COVID-19 pandemic under control. The new restrictions come as coronavirus cases continue to surge and while the state's intensive care capacity has neared dangerously low levels.

Angel Russell

San Luis Obispo County’s Pismo Preserve drew record crowds over Thanksgiving, leading to concerns that some hikers were not following CDC guidelines for COVID-19 safety.

Updated at 9:05 p.m. ET

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday announced most of the state will come under a stricter set of limitations as intensive care units reach near-capacity levels with the latest surge in coronavirus cases.

Regional stay-at-home orders will likely go into effect "in the next day or two" in places with less than 15% ICU availability, Newsom explained in a daily briefing with reporters.

The COVID-19 crisis has led to widespread economic impacts. Rising unemployment has left a record number of individuals in possible housing insecurity due to loss of income as a result of shelter-at-home orders, quarantines, illness, school closures, and other COVID-related factors. In August, nine prominent institutes and organizations released new research that concluded that 30-40 million people in America are at risk of losing their homes by the end of 2020. What type of housing assistance is available during these difficult times? Join Kris Kington Barker as she speaks with Central Coast legal experts—Kate Lee, attorney with Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County, and Sadie Weller, attorney with San Luis Obispo Legal Assistance Foundation—as they discuss avenues available for rent and mortgage relief as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

On this week's edition of Issues & Ideas: Since the beginning of the pandemic, facilities that care for the elderly have been hotspots for the spread of COVID-19. A new report says nationwide new cases in nursing homes have reached record numbers in November. You’ll hear from Michael Latner of Cal Poly, discussing partisanship, polls and what could change going forward in our country's elections. And we’ll learn about the nonprofit BraveMove.org from its founder and executive director Paul Monroe. He speaks about his experiences which led him to teaching and the work he does to help others succeed. And finally, many on the Central Coast book airline tickets through hubs like Los Angeles or San Francisco. But how safe are those larger airports? Doug Yakel with the San Francisco International Airport talks about COVID-19 holiday travel precautions at the airport.

Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer reports from San Francisco International Airport, where he visits with public information officer Doug Yakel to learn about the facility’s COVID-Safe initiatives.

Angel Russell

Locally-based stores and companies are hoping for big crowds this weekend on Small Business Saturday, with many of them looking to recoup for losses due to the pandemic.

Rick Stollmeyer co-founded the San Luis Obispo-based company Mindbody. Earlier this year, Stollmeyer stepped away from his role as CEO of the tech company and transitioned to board chair. He's written a book on entrepreneurship, with business advice based on his experience over the years with Mindbody. Garrett Olsen of the San Luis Obispo County Food Bank gives us an update and shares the challenges of providing food for community members in need during a pandemic. Finally, Father Ian Delinger takes us to Loo Loo Farms in Paso Robles to explore their edible flowers on "Playing With Food."

Joe Johnston/San Luis Obispo Tribune

Enjoying nature while preserving it is an age-old conflict in California, but nowhere is it more fraught than at Oceano Dunes. Can off-roading and endangered species coexist?

Angel Russell

With California's purple tier COVID-19 restrictions, gyms can only be open for outdoor workouts. But a coalition of more than 25 fitness centers throughout San Luis Obispo County are vowing to keep their indoor operations going, despite any fines that may come their way.

SLO County Office of Education

With San Luis Obispo County moving into California's most restrictive COVID-19 tier, the SLO County Office of Education hosted a “returning to school safely” webinar to explain to parents what that now means for them.

With COVID-19 cases on the rise in SLO County, the city of San Luis Obispo says it’ll be stepping up enforcement to ensure people are complying with public health bans on gatherings and other pandemic-related restrictions.

MARELBU/wikimedia commons

With tens of thousands of people living on the streets of California, the homelessness crisis is not slowing down, but a San Luis Obispo city grant aims to help alleviate the problem in the downtown area.

DOD

As coronavirus cases continue to rise across the U.S. and the Central Coast, officials at Vandenberg Air Force Base say it will be one of the first places to receive a new COVID-19 vaccine in the next few weeks.

Templeton Recreation department

Youth sports competitions are still prohibited in California due to COVID-19 restrictions. But recreation departments throughout SLO County say they have been getting creative in finding ways for children to get athletic.

Greta Mart/KCBX

As many schools throughout the state remain shuttered due to COVID-19, San Luis Obispo County public schools are allowing more students for in-person instruction this week. 

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