The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Community Levels for COVID-19 in La Plata County dropped to Medium on Thursday. Archuleta County remained in Level Medium. La Plata County has a case incidence rate of 195.6 per 100,000 and Archuleta County has a case incidence rate of 156.8 per 100,000 residents over the past seven days (CDC data). Community levels are a measure of the impact of COVID-19 illness on health and healthcare systems.
Statewide data shows that cases and percent positivity of laboratory tests are beginning to decrease, as are hospitalizations. Modeling indicates that this trend is likely to continue into August. However, the risk of getting COVID-19 is elevated at this time. The Colorado School of Public Health estimated that between 1 in 42 to 55 Coloradans were infectious with COVID-19 on June 14.
Based on these levels of COVID-19 in both communities, San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) recommends continued precautions to slow the spread of the virus, prevent severe illness and hospitalizations, and protect essential services. In both La Plata and Archuleta counties, those at high risk for severe illness should talk to their health care provider about taking additional precautions such as masking. Mask wearing is also encouraged on public transportation.
In both counties, individuals are advised to follow CDC isolation and quarantine guidance if they have symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19. The CDC advises mask wearing until at least day 10 for individuals coming out of a five-day isolation period. For all CDC Community Levels, individuals are encouraged to stay up to date on COVID-19 vaccines, including boosters, and test if experiencing symptoms.
Vaccines are the safest, most effective way to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death caused by COVID-19 and its variants. Local providers administering COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are available on SJBPH’s website. More information about COVID-19 vaccines, as well as assistance scheduling an appointment, is available on the state’s website. The public can also call SJBPH (970-247-5702) or Colorado’s Vaccine Hotline (877-268-2926) to get help finding a vaccine.
COVID-19 testing options are available in both La Plata and Archuleta counties. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) announced earlier in June that the community testing sites hosted at Fort Lewis College and Pagosa Springs Medical Center will close June 30. The community testing site at the La Plata County Fairgrounds will remain open past June 30, per CDPHE. At-home tests are available free at the SJBPH offices in both Durango and Pagosa Springs, or ordered directly from thefederal government (covid.gov/tests).Tests can also be obtained through health care settings and residents are advised to inquire about costs and show health insurance information if necessary. Local information about testing is available on SJBPH’s website.
Free KN95 masks are also currently available at SJBPH front desks in Durango and Pagosa Springs. These are available on a first come, first served basis until they run out.
COVID-19 treatments are for people who currently have mild to moderate symptoms and are not in the hospital for COVID-19, but who are at high risk of getting very sick. You should get treatment as soon as possible when you start to feel symptoms. If you are at high risk and have COVID-19, ask your health care provider about treatment as soon as you can. Telehealth is also an option for receiving treatment. Learn more about how to access COVID-19 treatments via the State of Colorado or SJBPH.
San Juan Basin Public Health is a local public health agency, governed by a seven-member local Board of Health, serving all residents of La Plata and Archuleta counties. For over 70 years, San Juan Basin Public Health has improved the health and environment of the Southwest Colorado community.
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