SAN LUIS OBISPO — As COVID-19 case counts increase in San Luis Obispo County, residents are asked to celebrate Independence Day weekend safely and avoid crowds. 

“I understand the desire to gather together as Americans and celebrate the courage, conviction, and spirit that our Country was built upon. This year we celebrate in the face of COVID,” said Wade Horton, County Administrative Officer and Emergency Services Director. “It’s important to keep your celebrations small and take measures to keep yourself and others healthy.” 

Most local cases are spread from person-to-person (from a close contact at family and social gatherings) or in community and congregate settings, such as bars and church services (from no known close contact with an infected individual). 

Community spread of COVID-19 continues to be a concern across the state, putting vulnerable populations at higher risk of becoming seriously ill due to the virus. SLO County’s neighboring counties — including Santa Barbara, Kern and Kings counties — were ordered by the State to close specific industries. 

“You’re taking a risk if you have even a small gathering of people who don’t live with you,” said County Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein. “We can’t stop this disease, but we can work together to limit the spread and return to bigger celebrations next year.” 

Healthy Ways to Celebrate the Fourth of July During COVID 

• Keep it small. Enjoy a small backyard barbecue with members of your household and perhaps one other family you have already been seeing, and wear your face covering. Do not go to or throw a Fourth of July party or gathering with 10 or more people. 

• Go outside with plenty of space. Visit a local campsite, beach or park with members of your household. County campsites are currently open on a first-come, first-served basis only to SLO County residents. Keep gatherings small, outdoors and with enough space for people from different households to remain spaced at least six feet apart, and wear a face covering. Do not travel far from home. 

• Go virtual. Enjoy a virtual concert or virtual fireworks show at home. Do not go out to celebrate if you are feeling sick (even mildly sick).

Getting through this together, Atascadero