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Record-breaking COVID-19 numbers hit the Central Coast

SLO County health reports 135 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

The 4th wave of COVID-19 infections increasing around the world is leaving many people feeling exhausted, but health experts say this surge could be nearing its peak.

San Luis Obispo County health officials report the highest number of COVID-19 cases in a single day since the start of the pandemic.

“This increase is the biggest I’ve seen,” says Dr. Ross Michael, medical director of the Intensive Care Unit at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center.

This is leading to an increase in hospital admissions on the Central Coast.

“Emergency departments are currently being hit hard. We’ve been very busy in the ICU this week and there have been some COVID-19 deaths,” Michael said.

The positivity rate of COVID-19 cases is not declining.

“Today (Friday) we reported the highest number of cases we have seen on any given day during the pandemic,” said Michelle Shoresman, Public Health Public Information Officer in San Luis Obispo County.

Significantly higher than the number of reported cases around this time last year.

“We also have the highest 14-day average we’ve seen, even compared to January 2021,” said Shoresman.

Although the pandemic is taking much longer than most expected, people say they are still willing to do their part to protect themselves and those around them.

“While I’m sick of it I don’t want to get it and I don’t want it to get worse so I’m willing to stick to the mask and have my vaccines,” said visitor Terry Porter.

“I’m tired of hearing it, but at the same time you have to follow the rules and take precautions, so we definitely still do that – the N95 mask and things like that,” said Santa Maria Resident, Tom Kerhulas.

Health officials say wearing masks, washing your hands and avoiding large gatherings will all help stop the spread of COVID-19 infections.

dr. Ross Michael of the Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center says doing these things could help the current COVID-19 wave stop sooner.

“We hope to reach the peak sometime this month, but we certainly haven’t reached it yet,” said Michael.

Healthcare experts say vaccination is a good way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 in the meantime.

“When people get the COVID-19 vaccine, they get less sick when they get COVID-19. They’re less likely to end up in our ICUs and in the hospital,” Michael says.

Michael says they’re also less likely to get infected if they’re boosted.

“People who get a boost are less likely to get infections and less likely to be hospitalized,” Michael said.

dr. Though hard to predict, Michael says he hopes this increase will peak within the next two weeks.