County emphasizes voluntary compliance, may take civil and criminal action if needed

The County of San Luis Obispo has launched an Enforcement Line for residents to report violations of the County’s recent public orders, particularly the Shelter at Home order meant to limit the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in SLO County. The Enforcement Line can be reached at (805)788-2222, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The local Shelter at Home Order allows for essential businesses to remain open. The County has provided lists of the types of businesses that may remain open, those that may be open for limited business, and those that must close their physical sites to the public.

“We want everyone to voluntarily comply with executive orders, but if a local business refuses to comply, we will take action,” said SLO County Emergency Services Director Wade Horton. “We do not want to do that. We need to work together as a community to slow the spread of this disease.”

Specifically, if a business refuses to comply with the County’s Shelter at Home Order, it may face a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, or up to six months in jail, or both. If the business in question is within one of the seven incorporated cities, the County will refer the complaint to the respective city. The cities and County are coordinating compliance to maximize resources among the related public agencies.


“We hope local businesses will do what’s right for our community and follow our orders to protect public health,” Horton said.

Visit to see the full emergency order, and lists of businesses that may remain fully open under the order, businesses open for limited service, and businesses to close physical locations

For updates on COVID-19 in SLO County: Visit or call the recorded Public Health Information Line at (805) 788-2903. A staffed phone assistance center at (805) 543-2444 is available seven (7) days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for questions related to COVID-19. To report a business violating the Shelter at Home order, call (805) 788-2222. For a daily live video stream of updates from the County every afternoon, visit