San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) amended its local public health advisory to reflect updated guidance and language provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as COVID-19 cases continue to level or decline nationally and locally. COVID-19 hospitalizations have also decreased locally and statewide in recent days. Both La Plata and Archuleta counties moved to the CDC’s Community Level Low last Thursday. Community levels are a measure of the impact of COVID-19 illness on health and our healthcare system and are based on data on hospitalizations and cases.
SJBPH amended its public health advisory with significant changes to align with the CDC’s updated language which loosened protocols regarding quarantine, connecting recommendations for face coverings based on CDC’s community level, updated recommendations around serial testing and other guidance.
SJPBH’s public health advisory directs residents and businesses to the CDC’s guidelines on prevention strategies based on CDC’s community levels. CDC prevention guidance as well as guidance on isolation and precautions for people with COVID-19 can be found here. The public health advisory also recommends that businesses, public institutions and special events follow CDC recommendations for prevention based on Community Levels.
Finally, the public health advisory recommends that schools and childcare follow the CDC’s and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s (CDPHE) updated guidance on prevention and mitigation in these settings. CDC guidance can be found here. CDPHE guidance is available here.
While COVID-19 cases have leveled or declined, the virus is still circulating in the community and can cause severe illness especially for individuals of advanced age and people with certain medical conditions. SJBPH urges individuals to follow CDC guidance if they are sick or exposed. In all COVID-19 Community Levels, individuals are encouraged to stay up to date on COVID-19 vaccines, including boosters, and test if experiencing symptoms.
There is free community PCR testing available at the La Plata County Fairgrounds from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 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). More information about testing is available on SJBPH’s website.
Vaccines are the safest, most effective way to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death caused by COVID-19 and its variants. CDPHE, with coordination from SJBPH, have continued to provide vaccines and boosters in long-term care facilities in recent days. It remains especially critical for older adults and high risk individuals to be up-to-date on vaccinations in advance of the fall and winter when more activities move indoors and spread of respiratory illnesses can increase. More information about local COVID-19 vaccine providers is available on SJBPH’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.
KN95 masks are also available at SJBPH front desks in Durango and Pagosa Springs.
COVID-19 treatments are available if you test positive . 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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