Non-urgent surgery, construction, dog grooming and recreational fishing can safely resume

SLO County logoCounty officials clarified on Monday, April 20, 2020 that activities that can safely operate under the County’s Executive Order to Shelter at Home and within the legal framework of the statewide Executive Order to Stay Home Except for Essential Needs.

In reviewing the County’s Order and interpreting the State’s Order, County officials identified business sectors that can operate under the County and State Orders. These include non-urgent surgery and outpatient practice, construction, dog grooming and recreational fishing. In each case, participants must follow the County’s appropriate physical distancing, face covering and protective personal equipment (PPE) guidelines, which are in line with the CDC and CDPH guidelines.

“Our community can be proud that we have flattened the curve together,” County Health Officer, Dr. Penny Borenstein said. “We are now working together to develop a phased reopening plan.”

Non-urgent surgery will resume in the coming weeks as Dr. Borenstein provided approval to move forward with non-urgent surgeries when hospitals are ready. In consultation with County Planning Director, Trevor Keith, all construction may move forward and the County will resume issuing of building permits. Pet grooming, both mobile and in-house, fall under essential animal care and may resume following the guidance of County Animal Services Manager, Eric Anderson. Recreational fishing, via personal boat and/or rented boats and private charters are allowed.  Fishing suppliers may conduct sales through curbside pickup or deliver/shipping.

“This is a first step that reflects the County’s legal authority and the current situation with COVID-19 here in SLO County,” said County Administrative Officer and Emergency Services Director, Wade Horton. “We are eager to reopen our community and we are committed to doing so in a way that is safe and is consistent with the powers we have at the County level.” County officials will continue to provide guidance consistent with the statewide order as long as it remains in effect.

For updates and questions on COVID-19 in SLO County, visit or call the recorded Public Health Information Line at (805) 788-2903, or staffed phone assistance center at (805) 543-2444,  8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends.