Home Breaking News Cuesta College and COVID-19: The latest

Cuesta College and COVID-19: The latest

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Cuesta College is providing COVID-19 updates. Image by Cuesta College

This is a developing story. Check back for the latest updates.

The County of San Luis Obispo Public Health Department has reported that another individual in San Luis Obispo County tested positive for COVID-19. This is the second confirmed case in San Luis Obispo County.

The first confirmed case was reported yesterday.

“Because local testing capacity increased both at our public lab and at private-sector labs last week, we will likely see more confirmed cases in the coming days,” Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein said.  “We are looking at all of our options to limit the spread of illness to keep our community healthy and safe.”

Borenstein also says it’s vital for everyone to practice good hygiene, limit social gatherings, and practice social distancing.

The second individual with COVID-19 is an adult under the age of 60 with significant underlying health conditions and a South County resident.

As the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department continues to investigate, Borenstein believes this is likely another case of community transmission in California.

The individual is also recovering in isolation at home until cleared by County Public Health.

“We are all in this together and we need to each do our part to slow down the speed at which people get exposed to COVID-19, so that we don‘t overwhelm our health care system,” Borenstein said.


March 15, 2020 – The County of San Luis Obispo Public Health Department (CSLOPHD) announced yesterday in a press release the first confirmed case of the COVID-19 virus in San Luis Obispo County.

The individual tested is a North County resident, over the age of 65 with underlying health conditions.

Symptoms exhibited by the patient included shortness of breath, fever, and cough. All are associated with the novel virus.

According to the release, this individual is at home recovering in isolation.

Health officer Dr. Penny Borenstein believes that the case is likely from community transmission, while County Public Health is investigating.

“We have expected to see cases of COVID-19 in our county and have been planning and preparing accordingly,” Borenstein said . “We encourage the public to continue to practice recommended precautions to reduce the spread of respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19.”

The County increased local testing capacity earlier this week. As of Mar. 14, over 100 tests for COVID-19 have been performed by the SLO Public Health Laboratory.

Public Health will notify the public immediately should the investigation indicate further action and precautions are necessary.

“Our top priority is the health and safety of our community,” Dr. Borenstein said. “We appreciate our local health care providers for continuing to be vigilant by monitoring patients to help us identify potential COVID-19 cases.”


March 14, 2020 – Cuesta College will be transitioning all face-to-face instruction to the Canvas online program for the remainder of Spring 2020 due to the wide-spread COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak.

“The well-being and safety of our campus community is our primary concern,” said Jill Stearns, President of Cuesta College, in an email to the campus community. “Cuesta College is making the following changes to support national efforts to minimize the spread of coronavirus.” 

As of Friday, Mar. 13, Cuesta College will be suspending all classes from Mar. 16-18. The college will be providing training opportunities for faculty and students to learn how to effectively use Canvas. 

Starting Mar. 19, lecture classes will meet remotely. 

According to an email sent to students by Cuesta College, lab and activity classes determined unsuitable for remote delivery are expected to be delivered in person at their regular scheduled time and location.

Stearns is encouraging students to communicate with their instructors and counselors for any questions or guidance.

All large campus events and athletic competitions are canceled. Immediate cancellations and postponements include:

  • 37th Annual Jazz Festival & Concert – Mar. 13
  • 42nd Cuesta Arena Swim & Dive Invitational – Mar. 13-14
  • Cuesta Choirs Concert – Mar. 15
  • Food Bank Distribution- Mar. 17
  • County Band Festival – Mar. 18
  • Women of Distinction Awards – Mar. 19
  • Cuesta Wind Ensemble & SLO Wind Orchestra Concert – Mar. 21
  • Preview Nights – Mar. 27 & Apr. 2

The SLO Farmers’ Market has suspended operations for the rest of March due to COVID-19. All Cal Poly sporting events have been suspended along with performing arts productions the school hosts.

School districts along the Central Coast announced temporary closures to prevent the spread of the deadly virus. San Luis Coastal, Lucia Mar, Atascadero, Paso Robles, and Coast Unified School Districts will enact the suspensions on Monday. 

“At this time, there are no confirmed cases of novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19 in San Luis Obispo County,” said the County of San Luis Obispo Public Health Department. “As there are confirmed cases throughout California, we expect that will soon include our county.” 

Cuesta College is providing COVID-19 updates and resources on their webpage. Cuesta College lists ways to help prevent transmission along with reminders about the stigma associated with the virus. CSLOPHD is giving alerts as well.

“More change is likely to come,” Stearns said in an email addressed to the community “You are not alone, we are all in this together, and are encouraging flexibility as the term progresses.” 

The Cuestonian will be continuing to provide updates on the virus and its impact on the community.

Hannah Halferty contributed to this story.