Durango, Colo.: San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) is reporting that a resident of La Plata County has died of COVID-19. This person, an adult, is the first lab-confirmed individual to die of the disease in La Plata County.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of this community member,” said SJBPH Executive Director, Liane Jollon. “While we have expected more cases, this death is an unfortunate milestone in our efforts to fight this outbreak,” she said. “This tragic death underscores the urgent need for us to take extra steps to protect residents who are particularly vulnerable to developing more serious illness, including older adults and those who have underlying health conditions.”

To prevent further spread of disease and to protect vulnerable people, including older adults and those with underlying health conditions including those with heart and lung disease, pregnant women, and people with diabetes, SJBPH urges everyone to:

  • Stay at home. Only leave your home for things such as grocery shopping, getting needed medication at the pharmacy, or to going to work.
  • If you do leave your home, wear a face covering over your nose and mouth, and practice social distancing by staying at least 6 feet away from other individuals.
  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
  • If you are sick, stay at home.

“We are working with our state and federal partners to limit the impacts of this disease to our community, but we need the public’s help as well,” Jollon said. “Each and every one of us are responsible for making the important choices needed to slow the spread of this disease and protect the health and safety of everyone in our community.”

For the most up to date information on how to take precautions against the spread of COVID-19, visit SJBPH’s website at: https://sjbpublichealth.org/coronavirus/.