Welcome to the SLV Emergency Website

This website is maintained by the SLV Emergency Operations Center Committee to support emergency preparedness and response in the six counties of the San Luis Valley. When we are supporting an emergency or disaster situation, we will post updates on this page.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

FOR CURRENT SLV REGION COVID-19 DATA, SEE slvemergency.org/slv-covid-19

Public Health COVID-19 Update – October 22, 2020

The San Luis Valley’s cumulative total of COVID-19 cases as of October 21, 2020 is 648. Rio Grande County reported a COVID-related death this week, bringing the total fatalities for the region to 15. 

The Colorado Spirit Crisis Counseling Program (CCP )offers community-based crisis counseling, help with disaster coping strategies, education, and more. Get information at https://www.slvbhg.org/services-and-programs/coloradospirit/ or call 719-587-5673. 

The SLV currently has 66 known active COVID-19 cases.

Alamosa County- 36

Conejos County – 9

Costilla County – 2

Mineral County – 0

Rio Grande County – 7

Saguache County – 12

To pursue testing for COVID-19, or for medical questions, call;

  • Rio Grande Hospital 719-657-4990
  • SLVHealth Respiratory Clinic 719-589-3000 ext. 9 
  • Valley-Wide Health Systems 719-589-3658 ext. 9 (M-F), 719-589-2562 (Sa/Su)

For general (non-medical) SLV COVID-19 related questions: slvepr@alamosacounty.org, 719-480-8719

By slveadmin on 10/22/2020 08:10 PM

October 19, 2020 Public Health Update

Public health officials would like to remind everyone in our community of the importance of staying at home when you are sick or when you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. There is currently an elevated level of the virus in our community, and it is critical that each person and each family do their part to prevent spreading the virus. Our hope last month was to begin moving to a less restrictive phase, but instead we now find ourselves in a very different situation. We want to do everything in our power as a region to avoid moving back to the point where additional restrictions are necessary. 

If you have been exposed to someone who has COVID, please self-quarantine by staying at home until 14 days have passed since the last exposure. Do not travel during this time. Children who share time in more than one parental household should remain in just one of those households while they complete their time in quarantine. Everyone, please continue to stay vigilant with wearing a mask and social distancing. 

On October 1st, our cumulative total cases was 538. Today our total has reached 624 in the San Luis Valley, as reported on the state’s website. There were 10 local COVID-related hospitalizations in the two-week period ending October 17th. 

The SLV currently has 69 known active COVID-19 cases.

To pursue testing for COVID-19, or for medical questions, call;

  • Rio Grande Hospital 719-657-4990
  • SLVHealth Respiratory Clinic 719-589-3000 ext. 9 
  • Valley-Wide Health Systems 719-589-3658 ext. 9 (M-F), 719-589-2562 (Sa/Su)

For general (non-medical) SLV COVID-19 related questions: slvepr@alamosacounty.org, 719-480-8719 

By slveadmin on 10/19/2020 09:10 PM

FOR CURRENT SLV REGION COVID-19 DATA, SEE slvemergency.org/slv-covid-19

October 14, 2020 PUBLIC HEALTH UPDATE

The SLV currently has 63 known active COVID-19 cases.

  • Alamosa County: 23
  • Conejos County: 8
  • Costilla County: 2
  • Mineral County: 1
  • Rio Grande County: 14
  • Saguache County: 15

See more data, here: slvemergency.org/slv-covid-19

COVID-19 illness has continued to increase this week in the San Luis Valley. In some ways, our current rise in cases is very similar to the rise we experienced in the beginning of May. By the end of May, we had an extremely high number of cases. There is potential for good news and bad news with this. On the hopeful side, a smaller percentage of COVID-19 patients are dying than earlier in the pandemic. On the concerning side, since we are now heading into the season for indoor activity, there is potential for a higher growth in case numbers during the next few weeks than we have seen before. While COVID deaths have slowed recently across the country, they have not stopped. Those who are vulnerable remain so. 

Over the past months, we have continued to learn more and more about this virus. Science supports continued individual responsibility for simple actions like keeping gatherings small, wearing a mask, social distancing, and hand washing. Some of the newer studies indicate the importance of good ventilation, so opening windows is another tool to add to the prevention toolkit. None of these actions alone is a guarantee against the spread of illness, but applied in combination appropriate to the setting, individual decisions make a critical impact on the community’s well-being. 

Many questions have been asked recently about the proper way to quarantine. 

  • Quarantine is for those who have been exposed to someone known to have COVID-19. 
  • Quarantine extends for 14 days from the date of last exposure. 
  • Quarantine means you should stay at home and away from others except to get medical care. 
  • If you start to feel sick during your quarantine, call one of the nurse lines listed at the end of this article.  If they recommend a test, the result may guide your medical care and also show whether any of your recent contacts will also need to quarantine, should your test come back positive. 
  • If you test negative during your quarantine period, this DOES NOT clear you to end quarantine early. This is because tests can sometimes show up negative early on, even while a person is without symptoms, and then a subsequent test will come up positive after the virus has had time to multiply in your body to detectable levels. In the meantime, it is still possible to spread the virus to other people. 

Outbreaks are another topic of recent interest. Usually, an outbreak refers to the upsurge of an illness in a community. In this sense, the San Luis Valley is experiencing a community-wide outbreak. Today is the first day that all six counties in our region have had active COVID-19 cases at the same time. 

When Public Health talks about outbreaks, they are often using a much more narrow and specific meaning, referring to a facility or employer that has met the CDPHE criteria to be listed and monitored as an outbreak. A reportable outbreak is monitored until it has been at least 28 days since the last positive test or onset of COVID illness at that facility. Reportable outbreaks at various stages in this process include Power Zone, SLV REC, and the Saguache County Jail. As few as 2 cases at the same facility can meet the criteria as a reportable outbreak, although that can vary by the type of facility. In some instances, it is impossible to tell whether co-workers caught the virus at work or elsewhere out in the community.

To pursue testing for COVID-19, or for medical questions, call;

  • Rio Grande Hospital 719-657-4990
  • SLVHealth Respiratory Clinic 719-589-3000 ext. 9 
  • Valley-Wide Health Systems 719-589-3658 ext. 9 (M-F), 719-589-2562 (Sa/Su)

For general (non-medical) SLV COVID-19 related questions: slvepr@alamosacounty.org, 719-480-8719

By slveadmin on 10/14/2020 10:10 PM

FOR CURRENT SLV REGION COVID-19 DATA, SEE slvemergency.org/slv-covid-19

BLOG: Public Health Update for October 8, 2020

The SLV currently has 39 known active COVID-19 cases.

The San Luis Valley is experiencing a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases. One week ago, we had 15 known active cases in our region, and today we are at 39. The high number of contacts represents potential for much higher spread of COVID-19 illness in the coming weeks. Public health agencies strongly encourage everyone to maintain social distancing, avoid large gatherings, wash your hands, and wear a mask when you are in public spaces where social distancing may be difficult, especially indoors. 

As we move into the cooler months, other infectious illnesses such as influenza also tend to rise. That, combined with increasing COVID-19, presents an additional concern regarding stress on our healthcare system.  “In some ways this first week of October has been similar to our first week in May. We may see a continued upward trend. Our previous record high was in the fourth week of May, when we had over a hundred new cases.” says Regional Epidemiologist Lilian Coll. 

There have been many discussions among public health agencies, local governments, and healthcare partners recently as we have prepared to apply to certify for moving into  Protect Our Neighbors status, which would allow gradual expansion of business and other capacities. We continue to prepare for that in order to be ready to submit an application after our COVID-related numbers have dropped back to the appropriate low levels. 

We encourage everyone to get your flu vaccination. Flu vaccination is recommended for all people who are six months of age and older. Talk to your primary care provider or visit your local pharmacy today to see if influenza vaccination is right for you. 

To pursue testing for COVID-19, or for medical questions, call:

  • Rio Grande Hospital 719-657-4990
  • SLVHealth Respiratory Clinic 719-589-2511 ext. 9 
  • Valley-Wide Health Systems 719-589-3658 ext. 9 (M-F), 719-589-2562 (Sa/Su)

For general (non-medical) SLV COVID-19 related questions: slvepr@alamosacounty.org, 719-480-8719 

By slveadmin on 10/08/2020 10:10 PM

Public Health Update for 10/1/2020

The SLV currently has 15 known active COVID-19 cases. See more data, here: slvemergency.org/slv-covid-19

Public Health encourages those who have COVID-19 symptoms to get tested. Testing helps keep the level of illness low in our community, while also helping us keep an accurate picture of how the illness is spreading. 

Public Health would also like to remind the community that it is the time of year for flu shots! Influenza (Flu) vaccination is a safe and effective way to help prevent spreading the flu. Getting a flu shot is especially important this year due to the ongoing effects of COVID-19. The CDC recommends flu vaccination for all people who are six months of age and older. Talk to your primary care provider or visit your local pharmacy today to see if influenza vaccination is right for you. 

 The Valley Public Health Departments continue to work towards certifying for Protect Our Neighbors status; however, whether or not we really get to move forward depends on if we can maintain the relatively low number of cases that we have seen over the past weeks. This means that it is up to each individual community member to continue practicing effective COVID-19 prevention such as wearing masks, washing hands frequently, and practicing physical distancing by staying at least six feet away from others. We’re all in this together, and if everybody does their part, we can succeed in opening the Valley further. 

To pursue testing for COVID-19, or for medical questions, call:

  • Rio Grande Hospital 719-657-4990
  • SLVHealth Respiratory Clinic 719-589-2511 ext. 9 
  • Valley-Wide Health Systems 719-589-3658 ext. 9 (M-F), 719-589-2562 (Sa/Su)

For general (non-medical) SLV COVID-19 related questions: slvepr@alamosacounty.org, 719-480-8719

By slveadmin on 10/01/2020 09:10 PM