pandemic

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. 

Ralphs Pharmacy

Pharmacies at a few local grocery stores are now offering antibody testing, but the efficacy of the tests is still in question. 

Courtesy of the candidates

As of Sunday night, 63 percent of SLO County voters have already cast their votes in the current election. 

But of those still filling out their ballot—or planning to head to the polls Tuesday—some will be weighing in on who will fill two open seats on the San Luis Obispo city council. Just under 31,000 people in San Luis Obispo are voting on that race. 

Courtesy of the Waage/Shadwell campaigns

Like in several Central Coast cities this election, Pismo Beach residents are deciding on the next mayor, two or more city council seats and a tax measure.

Courtesy of Dan Wells

A new study released by UC Davis says 110,000 Californians purchased a firearm due to the pandemic, and about 43% of those purchases were made by first-time gun owners. 

Angel Russell

Local restaurant owners have been under pressure since the start of the coronavirus pandemic; now the colder temperatures and rain will bring new challenges as outdoor dining continues.

Courtesy of the SLO Symphony

The performing arts industry is taking a huge hit during the COVID-19 crisis, without much direction for an eventual reopening.

For many businesses right now, the income is dried up, employees are taking pay cuts and the future remains uncertain as doors stay shut.

In an attempt to light the way for the industry, local arts administrators are taking action. The Central Coast Coalition of Arts Leaders (CCCOAL) recently reached out to the state and San Luis Obispo County health departments with the goal of prioritizing the industry’s reopening.

Courtesy of motel6.com

A Motel 6 in Paso Robles will be converted to provide over a hundred rooms for emergency and permanent housing for homeless individuals,  a project expected to be complete by the end of this year.

Angel Russell

The state off-roading park at Oceano Dunes in San Luis Obispo County will partially reopen next week as part of a three-phase plan. The dunes have been closed to vehicles and camping access since mid-March.

Urban Institute, "Housing and Land-Use Implications of Split-Roll Property Tax Reform in California," October 2020

When Californians approved Proposition 13 in 1978, critics of the landmark ballot measure say voters did not foresee many of the unintended consequences of capping property taxes on both residential and commercial land: lower school funding, cash-strapped cities, major corporate tax benefits.

Angel Russell

The city of San Luis Obispo is clearing a homeless encampment along the Bob Jones Trail. This comes a week after SLOPD found the body of a man inside one of the tents, who they say died from unknown causes weeks earlier.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, and organizations that help survivors of domestic violence on the Central Coast report an uptick in calls, believed to be directly related to the pandemic.

David Rodriguez, The Salinas Californian

A CalMatters analysis shows that Cal/OSHA dispatches inspectors in just 5% of COVID complaint cases. Non-COVID complaints were more than twice as likely to result in on-site inspections — but that’s still far below the pre-pandemic share.

Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer reports from the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport. County airport director Kevin Bumen shares information about COVID-19 sanitation initiatives within airport terminals and aboard aircraft. Bumen also talks about dealing with reduced daily flights (down fifty percent from 2019), a marked reduction of income from ancillary revenue streams such as long-term parking, and Bumen's new position as the first chief commercial officer at San Francisco International Airport (SFO), with his last day at San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport set on October 9.

Angel Russell

San Luis Obispo County advanced to a less-restrictive phase in California’s COVID-19 blueprint Tuesday, and businesses are yet again adjusting to the new changes. 

Downtown SLO

After 44 years, the organization Downtown SLO is canceling the city’s annual holiday parade due to COVID-19 concerns. But the group has some other ideas on keeping the holiday spirit alive.

More businesses can reopen effective immediately in San Luis Obispo County. On Tuesday the county’s public health officer said the county has qualified to move into the less-restrictive ‘red tier,’ according to the state’s framework for reducing the number of coronavirus cases.

Angel Russell

In Paso Robles, some students with disabilities returned to campus Monday, and the school district is hoping to serve more students with in-person learning assistance this school year. 

Undocumented workers in California are now eligible for certain tax credits under a bill Governor Gavin Newsom signed Friday

There have been record-setting hurricanes, floods and a pandemic. And this year in California six of the 20 largest wildfires in the state’s history have occurred, many of which are still burning.  News of mass evacuations are heard daily, often with little or no time at all to prepare. These hardships clearly illustrate the importance of emergency preparedness. If a disaster hits, will you be prepared? Would you be ready to go? Join host Fred Munroe as he speaks with Paul Deis, Red Cross disaster volunteer, and Dan McGauley, retired firefighter and paramedic with the city of Atascadero, as they discuss the importance of being disaster ready.

Angel Russell

Since the start of the pandemic, a Central Coast nonprofit animal services organization is seeing a huge increase in demand for its services. With more people adopting from shelters, C.A.R.E. 4 Paws is working to make sure animals don’t end up back there.

Courtesy of Center Stage

Center Stage Theater in Santa Barbara was almost exclusively a rental venue before the pandemic. But since the shutdown, the theater has been pushed into producing its own shows, including a virtual series of story readings from local authors and performers.

Angel Russell

Despite an ongoing pandemic and wildfires causing smoky skies, people are still visiting the Central Coast—but overall tourism is sharply down compared to years' past.

A4MC

Instead of a hand-written “no-mask, no-service” sign in business windows—in Monterey County, people will see graphic posters reminding customers to wear masks. The Arts Council for Monterey County commissioned local artists to create posters that are free for anyone to download and print.

photo courtesy of James Scoolis

With music venues closed and COVID-19 restrictions in place, musicians have been out of work for months. Now local musicians are circulating a petition, advocating for an end to the prohibition of live music events.

The company that makes Dr. Pepper has announced its products are currently harder to find on shelves, and it is the latest major brand to announce a shortage during the pandemic. But it’s not just soda companies, Central Coast beer companies are also facing a shortage struggle.

UCSB SRC

Archivists at UC Santa Barbara are documenting the pandemic’s effect on the university’s community. To do so, they’ve asked students, staff, faculty and alumni to send in submissions, without any guidance on form or content.

And so far, UCSB’s Special Research Collections have received nearly 100 submissions.

Angel Russell/KCBX

The fitness industry has taken a huge hit as the state is trying to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

For two-and-a-half months, Central Coast gyms were closed due to state mandates. Then fitness centers got the green light to open in some counties again in mid-June, only to be told to reclose just a few weeks later.

Greta Mart/KCBX

After three days on the state’s watchlist for COVID-19 cases, San Luis Obispo County is now back under the kind of closure orders experienced in March, April and May. All bars are closed. Starting Thursday, gyms, churches, most offices, salons and malls are ordered to close down all indoor operations.

Since mid-June, Santa Barbara’s tourism marketing branch has been advertising the city as “Open for Travel,” an action which has brought some criticism.

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