San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) is reporting a continued increase in COVID-19 cases today as well as La Plata County’s second death of a person with COVID-19. The person who died was an adult with underlying health conditions. Since June 25, SJBPH has confirmed 63 new cases of COVID-19 in La Plata County and 10 new cases in Archuleta County. Yesterday, July 16, SJBPH confirmed five new cases in La Plata County, two new cases in Archuleta County, and three new cases in nonresidents who were tested in La Plata or Archuleta counties. Additional case investigations are still underway.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has determined that La Plata County now qualifies as an area of significant community transmission of COVID-19. This may result in continued increases in case counts. The cases reported over the last three weeks include workplace, family, social, and household transmissions of the virus, as well as persons who contracted the disease from an unknown source.

“SJBPH is saddened by the second death of a local resident who had contracted COVID-19, and we extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of this person.”, said SJBPH Executive Director, Liane Jollon. “This is a tragic reminder of the importance of all of us making responsible decisions such as wearing face coverings, social distancing, and hand washing frequently to protect our vulnerable family members, friends, and strangers,” Jollon said.

To prevent further spread of COVID-19 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. Anyone older than 10 in Colorado is required to wear a mask or face cover in all indoor spaces and is encouraged to do so in outdoor spaces if social distancing is not possible.
  • Practice social distancing by staying at least 6 feet away from other individuals.
  • Choose lower-risk recreation and leisure activities, like recreating outside alone or with members of your household. Avoid large group activities, especially indoors.
  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
  • If you are sick or are notified that you may have been exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case, stay at home.

For the latest evidence supporting these precautions see: https://sjbpublichealth.org/covid-prevention/.