A successful San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) and Mercy Regional Medical Center (MRMC) COVID-19 testing partnership has reached a milestone of over 1,000 individuals tested. The drive-through site operated by MRMC in conjunction with SJBPH has tested over 1,051 people, as of June 20th. Testing continues to increase with an average of 75 tests per day.
Community-wide coronavirus testing is a key strategy in slowing the spread of the virus so SJBPH, MRMC and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) worked together to provide free testing since May 7th, 2020. High testing rates are vital as restrictions on businesses and community gatherings continue to be relaxed by the State of Colorado, and the state has indicated that future stages on the road to recovery may be dependent on availability of community testing.
The MRMC drive through testing site is one of five community testing options in Archuleta and La Plata counties. Thanks to healthcare providers’ participation, SJBPH coordination, and CDPHE support, Archuleta and La Plata counties have been able to maintain a high testing rate since early May.
The MRMC drive through site has also been utilized as part of SJBPH’s targeted testing for local businesses and organizations that experience a high level of interactions with the public, such as first responders, restaurant workers, and retail employees. Over twenty businesses and government agencies have taken advantage of this testing opportunity to provide the safest possible experience for their patrons and staff. For more information on local testing options, including workplace testing, see: https://sjbpublichealth.org/testing/.
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 states.
- 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 337 such 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.
- SJBPH has the capacity to follow up on every lab-confirmed positive test with contact tracing, isolation and quarantine resources, and case monitoring.
As part of its commitment to keep the communities it serves safe and healthy, SJBPH reminds everyone to continue to adhere to the following public health guidelines to slow the spread of the virus, especially as the region experiences an influx of visitors from other locations and local businesses begin to lift restrictions.
- 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
- 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.
For more information on coronavirus see: https://sjbpublichealth.org/coronavirus/.