Adjusting To Changing Orders & Circumstances

By: 5th District Supervisor, Debbie Arnold

As we enter the 5th month of living under a proclamation of emergency due to the COVID-19 virus, we are all constantly adjusting to the new and changing orders and circumstances we find ourselves dealing with. These new circumstances are affecting us in many different ways.

Many people have unexpectedly lost jobs or closed a business. Children found their schools close suddenly and Zoom meetings have become the norm. Celebrations, holiday activities, fundraisers, and large annual events have been canceled.

In mid-March, when the severity of the virus was first recognized, our county declared its own declaration of emergency, put a stay-at-home order in place, and quickly built hospital capacity with the availability of over 900 beds on the Cal Poly campus.

Since that time, our hospitalizations and number of deaths have remained low. We now operate most of the time under the orders of Governor Newsom. Recently we saw new orders that shut down many of our businesses, while increasing regulations for many others.

I know these orders have been difficult for citizens and businesses alike, and maybe the hardest thing is not knowing what the future holds. The county is constantly updating COVID-19 information, including information for businesses, on the website

Meanwhile, county government and the elected Board of Supervisors continue to provide services to the county. Though the elected supervisors do not have authority to enact orders or remove them under the Proclamation of Emergency, we are still holding hearings and overseeing projects and services.

The COVID-19 situation has affected the county budget due to large segments of the economy being shut down. The budget shortfall is expected to be somewhere between $32 million and $56 million. This budget gap will directly affect county services, and the Board is working hard to fully fund an increased demand for services with a severe revenue shortfall.

I hope to see San Luis Obispo County be able to reopen soon. My office is available to provide information regarding the ever-changing regulations placed on citizens and businesses. Our contact number is (805) 781-4339 and email address is

I look forward to being able to see you all when the Governor allows us to resume our many traditional events and activities.

It is an honor to serve as your 5th District Supervisor.

-Debbie Arnold

Atascadero City Big Cheese KL

5th District Supervisor, Debbie Arnold

Debbie Arnold moved to San Luis Obispo County in 1973 to attend Cal Poly, she fell in love with both her husband, Steve, and the farming and ranching values that had been a part of the Arnold family way of life for more than 5 generations. While raising two children, she owned and operated a small business in Atascadero for more than 17 years. She then had the privilege of advocating for local families as a Legislative Aide at the County Supervisor’s office and as a San Luis Obispo District Representative for the State Senate. During these years, she worked with a broad range of community groups and interests, bringing people together to solve problems. Debbie Arnold now serves as the 5th District Supervisor for San Luis Obispo County.