San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) is now reporting the number of positive cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) identified at local testing sites from non-residents of Archuleta and La Plata counties. The data can be found on SJBPH’s data dashboard and provides insight into the prevalence of non-resident COVID-19 transmission.

Since June 1, SJBPH has tracked six non-resident cases of COVID-19 in Archuleta County, and three non-resident cases in La Plata County. The agency emphasizes that the data should be interpreted carefully because it may not include all individuals who could be positive for COVID-19 who are visiting the jurisdiction. The non-resident data includes the cases that SJBPH was notified of, and then performed a case investigation on in order to prevent further spread of COVID-19.

As tourism destinations, both Archuleta and La Plata counties are seeing an influx of visitors from potential hot spots, including Texas, Arizona and Utah. With the additional non-resident data, SJBPH stresses the importance of locals and visitors taking strong precautions against the spread of the virus, such as social distancing, wearing face coverings, and washing hands frequently.

“As the fourth of July holiday approaches, it is critical that we remain vigilant protecting ourselves from the spread of COVID-19,” said Liane Jollon, Executive Director of SJBPH. “While our communities have maintained low case counts, there are a number of our neighboring states experiencing increases. Providing non-resident case data will better inform our community about the local transmission of COVID-19 and serves as a reminder to continue to take stringent public health precautions.”

SJBPH thanks community members, and local businesses and organizations, for taking steps to slow the spread of the virus by following public health orders and guidance. As a result, both Archuleta and La Plata counties have maintained low case counts and encouraging public health statistics:

  • Both counties are in the bottom twenty percent of Colorado counties in cases per capita, despite high growth rates in neighboring counties.
  • Thanks to hard work on the part of long-term care facility staff and SJBPH, there are no outbreaks of COVID-19 among residents at local facilities. There have been 353 outbreaks elsewhere in Colorado.
  • Local hospitals have completed a medical surge plan and are able to care for patients without resorting to crisis standards of care.
  • Both counties have widespread testing availability and SJBPH has the capacity to follow up on every lab-confirmed positive test with contact tracing, isolation and quarantine resources, and case monitoring.

As Fourth of July approaches, SJBPH urges all local residents, visitors, businesses, and organizations to remain vigilant to reduce spread of COVID-19 by adhering to the following public health guidelines:

  • Avoid close contact with others
    • Keep at least 6 feet from other people
    • Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread the virus
  • Try to avoid gatherings with others outside of your own household
  • Wear face coverings when around others
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Wash hands frequently or use hand sanitizer if unable to wash hands
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily
  • Monitor your health
    • Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19

In the effort to be transparent and provide important information to the communities it serves, SJBPH will continue to share information and data on the prevalence of non-resident COVID-19 transmission, as well as public health precautions to prevent spread of the virus. More information can be found at: https://sjbpublichealth.org/coronavirus/.