Coronavirus information from KCBX News

KCBX News aims to provide our audience with the latest local and regional information and updates on the coronavirus and COVID-19. We will update this post as new information becomes available.

Click on the link in the county name to find important public health resources in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Monterey counties.

Click HERE to view a COVID-19 case map of San Luis Obispo County.

MONDAY , JUNE 29, 2020

  • As coronavirus cases continue to climb across California, over the weekend the governor ordered bars to immediately close is several counties, including in nearby Kern County. Sunday's order is also recommending bars and wine tasting rooms in Santa Barbara County to close as well. SB County health officials say per the California Dept. of Public Health, the county has been on a monitoring list for 13 days. Santa Barbara County may be mandated to issue a health officer order to close bars given the rising case count locally, a county press release said Sunday, and that the county health officer is "strongly considering options to address these concerns."
  • Governor Gavin Newsom went further for one of the hardest-hit counties in terms of confirmed COVID19 cases. On Friday he ordered Imperial County to not only close bars, but reinstate its stay-at-home order, as the county consistently had more per-capita cases than the rest of the state.  The announcement marks the first time Newsom ordered a county to tighten restrictions since businesses began to reopen.

FRIDAY , JUNE 26, 2020

  • Santa Barbara County announced Thursday that nail salons, tattoo parlors and other personal services businesses are free to reopen as of today. That's as long as the business completes a self-assessment of whether it has precautions in place. 
  • San Luis Obispo County libraries are reopening on July 7. According to the library system, "all branches will be following state and county COVID-19 guidelines, and the following precautions will be taken: Patrons will be asked to maintain physical distancing and to wear a face covering while visiting the library; in-house magazines, newspapers, passport services, and Friends of the Library bookstores will not be available at this time; and no seating will be available for leisure reading, and program rooms will remain closed until further notice."

MONDAY, JUNE 22, 2020

  • San Luis Obispo County added 38 new cases over the weekend, and health officials are urging people to take precautions, particularly against gatherings and parties, where more person-to-person transmission is taking place. 


  • California is now requiring all people to wear face coverings or masks. Governor Gavin Newsom announced today new guidelines requires the use of cloth face coverings by the general public when "outside the home, with limited exceptions, including children under the age of two, people who have medical or mental health conditions that prevent wearing face coverings, and people who are eating or drinking at a restaurant or establishment that offers food or beverages, and others," according to Paso Robles city staff. 

FRIDAY, JUNE 12, 2020

  • San Luis Obispo County schools plan to reopen in time for the 2020/21 school year. The head of the county’s school districts says schools are making the necessary changes over the summer to enable kids to return to campuses. Asked what it may look like, county superintendent James Brescia says there will be a lot more personal protective equipment, or PPE, available. “I think looking at some of the images that you've seen in other countries as a reopening in terms of the protective barriers, the equipment, the hand sanitization, the checking of temperatures, those will be things that I see utilized across our county,” Brescia said. Those changes extend to private and parochial schools, and Brescia says some schools, like those in rural areas like Cuyama, already can space out desks and students. Urban schools will need to make some more physical alterations. Districts will also offer distance learning for those families unable or concerned about returning in the fall.


All bars across San Luis Obispo County are now ordered to close for the weekend, to "avoid large congregations of individuals in close proximity within a confined space."

Angel Russell/KCBX News

Bars, breweries and wine tasting venues are closing their doors Thursday night in San Luis Obispo after the city issued temporary restrictions for the 4th of July holiday.

Marco Bruschi

Younger adults are contributing to the rise in COVID-19 cases in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, and a spike in confirmed cases statewide has led California's governor to reinstate shut-down orders for all bars, pubs and brewpubs. And while not ordered to do so, San Luis Obispo city officials announced Wednesday that the city's bars must too close as of July 2. 

Issues & Ideas: Flying at SBP, job losses for undocumented workers and GALA pride

Jun 26, 2020

On this episdoe of Issues & Ideas, San Luis Obispo author Nicholas Belardes talks about growing up in Bakersfield and going to a high school steeped in Confederate symbolism. A new report from UC Merced shows undocumented workers have been hit hard when it comes to job loss during the pandemic, especially women in non-essential jobs. SLO County Regional Airport director Kevin Bumen discusses the current protocol of transiting through the airport, in-flight COVID-19 precautions and the state of the airline industry as people are beginning to think about traveling again. Michelle Call of  the Central Coast's Gay and Lesbian Alliance, or GALA, gives us an update on local happenings during Pride Month. And finally, we learn how sea otters may be keeping our estuaries’ underwater plants healthy.

As the effects of COVID-19 are felt around the world, the real estate and development industry are being impacted in different ways. Interest rates are at a historic low, yet fewer homes are on the market

Join Fred Munroe as he speaks with experts from the Central Coast housing and real estate industry—Chris Richardson, president of Richardson Properties; Mary Trudeau, SLO division manager at the Mortgage House; and Lindy Hatcher, executive director of the Home Builders Association on the Central Coast—as they discuss how the global pandemic could reshape the U.S. real estate industry.

When everything hits at once it can feel like you are drowning—the weight of the world bears down on your chest and even the simplest of daily tasks can began to feel like rolling a boulder up a hill. If that sounds familiar, you're not alone. Since March there has been a 30% increase in reported depressive episodes in people who have not struggled with mental health before. With limited services available, where can people get help? Tune in for a conversation with the Reluctant Therapist, Elizabeth Barrett, about coping with stress overload, recognizing deep melancholy and building resilience while trying to care for children, family, friends and hoping to heal the world.

Courtesy of the SB Zoo

Zoos in California are welcoming the public back after being closed since mid-March. The gates of Charles Paddock Zoo in Atascadero reopened Wednesday, and director Alan Baker said it’s great seeing visitors again, since it was a bit eerie being at the zoo without visitors for so long.

Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer reports from the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport with a conversation with airport director Kevin Bumen. Bumen shares insights about current protocol of transiting through airports; in-flight COVID-19 precautions and the current status of the airline industry; details about TSA protocols; United, Delta, Alaska and American Airlines' modification of service frequency, including United's temporary elimination of service between San Luis Obispo and Los Angeles; and Delta's elimination of service to Santa Barbara.

The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Central Coast businesses has been immense. Results from a survey issued to local business owners by the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce suggest severe impacts on the business community due to COVID-19 lockdowns. Join host Kris Kington-Barker as she speaks with Jim Dantona, president and CEO of the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce and Jocelyn Brennan, president and CEO of the South County Chambers of Commerce, about the business and economic implications of the coronavirus pandemic for the Central Coast. They will discuss their efforts to assist businesses and organizations weather the closure, navigating confusing HR issues, and help businesses prepare for a safe, successful, and sustainable reopening of the economy.

What will student learning look like when the new school year starts? The San Luis Coastal Unified School District this week laid out different pandemic-prompted scenarios for how the district’s 7,500 students will attend classes in the fall.

Courtesy Ryan Joiner

California is giving the green light for movie theaters and gyms to reopen as of June 12, but not all businesses will be ready. KCBX News spoke to local gym and movie theater owners to find out what the hold up is and what it’ll be like for customers once doors reopen.

The use of face coverings or masks has become one of the biggest debates nationwide during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Santa Barbara and Monterey counties have adopted a mandatory mask ordinance. But in San Luis Obispo County, it’s up to individual towns to decide.

Tom Hilton/Flickr

The owners of San Luis Obispo County nail salons and tattoo parlors should start getting ready to reopen on or after June 19. That's the latest message from county health officials about the personal services sector.

E Walden Bohnet

High school graduation ceremonies continue around the Central Coast this week, although in a very different manner than in years past. 

On this episode of Issues & Ideas, emergency relief for undocumented immigrants recently became available in California, but demand outweighs the supply of cash. We’ll learn how the California NanoSystems Institute at UCSB is repurposing 3D printers to make face shields for healthcare workers. And hear about the challenges facing small farmers in California due to COVID-19. We get an update on First 5 SLO County from director Wendy Wendt; the independent public agency, created by California’s Proposition 10, uses a tax on tobacco products to fund programs for children through age five and their families. The city manager of Morro Bay, Scott Collins, talks about having to discourage vacationers due to the pandemic. And finally, we’ll learn about an award-winning book by UCSB professor emeritus Tonia Shimin featuring the art of her late father, Symeon Shimin.

COVID-19 is disproportionately impacting vulnerable populations, including the LGBTQ+ community. According to research, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Americans are more likely to become unemployed as a result of the coronavirus epidemic. Join host Kris Kington-Barker as she speaks with guests Michelle Call and David Weisman of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance (GALA), and Jamie Woolf, chair of Tranz Central Coast, as they discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the LGBTQ+ community of the Central Coast, and how Pride is shifting it’s a celebration this year.