SJBPH Investigation is Ongoing, Community Strongly Urged to Wear Masks in Public Indoor Settings and Receive Vaccination for COVID-19
San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) has updated the number of positive COVID-19 cases associated with the Nissan of Durango outbreak to 12 and the number of fatalities to three. A fourth individual passed away after contracting COVID-19, however it does not meet the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s (CDPHE) case definition to be added to the outbreak fatality list. The first case was identified on June 19th. Five cases of the Delta variant have been confirmed in association with the outbreak through full-genome sequencing conducted by CDPHE. As of August 9th, two of the 12 cases associated with the outbreak have been confirmed as “breakthrough” cases identified in fully vaccinated individuals.
Over the course of the investigation, SJBPH and Nissan of Durango have implemented mitigation response plans for the business, including testing and contact tracing. All positive cases associated with Nissan of Durango have been put on isolation and those identified as unvaccinated close contacts were put on quarantine.
COVID-19 continues to circulate at ‘high’ rates in La Plata and Archuleta counties as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Four active outbreaks are currently listed across the combined SJBPH jurisdiction of La Plata and Archuleta counties. An outbreak within a business is defined by CDPHE as five or more cases associated with a single facility in a fourteen-day period.
“The recent COVID-19 fatalities are a tragic loss for our community and a reminder that the pandemic is not over,” said Liane Jollon, Executive Director of SJBPH. “We’re very grateful for the cooperation of Nissan of Durango in response to this outbreak and to every business still working to keep our communities safe. We are heartbroken to report the recent COVID-19 related deaths. We urge everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible and follow SJBPH’s public health advisory by continuing to wear masks in public indoor settings like the grocery store and other businesses.”
- SJBPH offers free on-site vaccinations for local employers; contact our COVID-19 Vaccine team at 970-335-2091 for more info.
- SJBPH provides on-site testing options for local businesses, including rapid tests and free at-home test kits for those working in high-contact jobs. Visit https://sjbpublichealth.org/testing-options for details.
- Testing remains critical and allows public health officials to identify COVID-19 variants. Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, including vaccinated individuals, should get tested. Learn more at https://sjbpublichealth.org/testing.
The outbreak at Nissan of Durango followed one of the largest outbreaks SJBPH has investigated to date in Archuleta County at the Pagosa Springs Walmart. Cases of the Delta variant were identified in both outbreaks. Being fully vaccinated is the best means of protection against the Delta variant. SJBPH also strongly urges layering protection against the Delta variant by wearing a mask and social distancing in public indoor settings regardless of your vaccination status. SJBPH’s investigations into both outbreaks suggested that the lack of public health precautions within the workplace, especially regarding unvaccinated staff, contributed to the elevated number of cases.
SJBPH is urging all community members to maintain their practice of the following critical public health precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- Get vaccinated for COVID-19. Vaccine clinics and providers are available on the SJBPH website.
- Stay at home when feeling unwell.
- A local public health advisory is in effect.
- Employees and guests are strongly advised to wear a mask in public indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status.
- Physical distancing (staying at least six feet away from another person) is strongly advised while in a public indoor setting.
- Businesses should err on the side of assuming that some customers entering a business are unvaccinated and should maintain face coverings and physical distancing in indoor settings (i.e., grocery stores, gyms, restaurants).
- Face coverings must be worn while using public transportation and when travelling by air, train, or bus.
- Practice good hygiene: wash hands frequently, cover coughs and sneezes.
- Get tested if you have symptoms or if you are unvaccinated and believe you were exposed through a known contact or community interaction, testing sites are listed on the SJBPH website.
The COVID-19 vaccine is now widely available to all residents ages 12 and up. Youth ages 12 to 17 are only eligible for the Pfizer vaccine. Minors must have a signed parental consent form which can be completed online when registering or at the clinic.
Although advance registration is preferred, walk-ins are also welcome at upcoming clinics. The vaccine is free, and no ID is required. Additional clinics and information about the COVID vaccine can be found on SJBPH’s website.