Meeting The Challenges of COVID-19

By: 5th District Supervisor, Debbie Arnold


What a beautiful spring season we are experiencing.  The late spring rains have given a boost to our water supply all over the state.

I think it is safe to say we are living through an extraordinary and unprecedented time right now.  We are experiencing unprecedented levels of disruption to our normal routines.

The County has spent the last several weeks working to meet the challenges COVID-19 has presented.  On March 17th, the County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution ratifying the Health Officer’s declaration of a local health emergency and delegated the authority to terminate the declaration to the Health Officer, Dr Borenstein.  At the same time, the Board adopted a resolution ratifying a proclamation of local emergency and delegated authority to terminate the proclamation to the Emergency Services Director, Mr. Horton.  These decisions were made to protect the health of our citizens during a pandemic we were told could result in thousands of deaths, and to be eligible for resources our county would need, both medically and financially.

The emergency operations team immediately went into action putting in place the Shelter at Home Order to try to control the virus outbreak and began building an alternative care site at Cal Poly to ensure we had the medical resources to treat COVID-19 patients.  Their hard work paid off and few people were hospitalized. San Luis Obispo County is now prepared for a surge of this virus or any other medical emergency.

The Shelter at Home Order has helped reduce the effects of COVID-19 in our county but has done severe damage to the economy.  The County is now in the process of developing a plan to lift the order, which would allow business to resume.  Elected officials are working closely with emergency officials to give input, but ultimately the decision to lift the order lies with the Health Officer and Emergency Services Director.  It is important to note that even when the decision is made that it is safe to lift the county order, citizens and businesses are still subject to Governor Newsom’s order.  Before things can get back to normal both County and State emergency officials need to sign off.

Please know as your elected representative I am doing all I can to open things back up in a safe way.  I understand how devastating this shutdown has been to the business community.  I encourage you to use the two county websites to get the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak, resources to help businesses experiencing financial hardship, resources for families and seniors, as well as the recovery plan the county hopes to roll out.

Go to and daily to get the latest information.  You are welcome to call my office at 805-781-4339 if you have questions.

It is an honor to serve as your fifth district supervisor.


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.