The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Community Levels for COVID-19 rose on Thursday in La Plata County. La Plata County is again in Community Level High, with Archuleta County remaining in Level Medium.
Based on elevated levels of COVID-19 in both communities, San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) recommends increased precautions to slow the spread of the virus, prevent severe illness and hospitalizations, and protect essential services and health care.
In La Plata County (Level High), masking is advised for all public indoor spaces and on public transportation, per the CDC and SJBPH’s Public Health Advisory.
In Archuleta County (Level Medium), 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 should stay home when sick—this means following CDC isolation and quarantine guidance if symptomatic, testing positive, or exposed 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 both Community Levels Medium and High, individuals are encouraged to stay up to date on COVID-19 vaccines, including boosters, and test if experiencing symptoms.
CDC COVID-19 Community Levels are based on the burden of severe illness in a community, which includes regional hospitalization data, and the amount of transmission occurring in the area. One quarter of counties in Colorado are currently in Level High, with about half of counties in Level Medium, and the remaining quarter in Level Low. Spread of the virus continues to be elevated across the state and locally. For data collected June 30, the State of Colorado’s COVID-19 wastewater monitoringshowed the highest level of virus present in the Durango area since data collection began in late January of this year.
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.
Testing is available for free at the community testing site at the La Plata County Fairgrounds, and at-home tests are available free at the SJBPH offices in both Durango and Pagosa Springs, or ordered directly from the federal government (covid.gov/tests). Local information about testing is available on SJBPH’s website. 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.
If you test positive or think you might have COVID-19, you may be able to get treatment to help you recover. If you are at high risk for severe illness, 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’s website.
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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