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

COVID-19 in the SLV

July 2, 2020 Daily Update (Español)

Nine new cases for the SLV have been reported since yesterday: 4 from Alamosa, 1 each from Conejos and Costilla, and 3 for Rio Grande County. The total number of cumulative cases is now 436. There are currently 82 known active cases. Thirty-one total people have been hospitalized, and 346 have completed their isolation period.  There have been 8 fatalities of individuals with COVID-19. Numbers are updated weekdays at slvemergency.org/slv-covid-19/. Friday, June 3rd, is a government holiday. We will be taking time off from publishing new updates and numbers information until Monday, July 6th.

If you get tested for COVID, it is imperative to stay home while waiting for results, even if you don’t feel sick. If results come back and they are negative, you must still follow Public Health recommendations regarding quarantine if you were exposed to a positive individual. You could still be an asymptomatic carrier or develop symptoms later on in your quarantine.

As we come upon the Fourth of July weekend, it is important to understand potential risks of certain activities and to adopt prevention measures to protect yourself and to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

Your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19 increases in settings where it is difficult to practice social distancing like July 4th celebrations, beaches and pools, and busy restaurants. To lessen the risk of exposure, 

  • stay home if you’re sick, 
  • maintain 6 ft between yourself and others who are not part of your household, 
  • wash your hands often, 
  • wear a cloth face covering, and 
  • research the protective measures the venue has put in place. 
  • See more here: https://bit.ly/2YVLVtk and https://bit.ly/3ingv6E

Planning to travel over the holiday weekend? Some neighboring states have rapidly accelerating rates of COVID-19 right now, and case rates are creeping up again in many parts of Colorado as well. Because travel increases your chances of getting infected and spreading COVID-19, staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from getting sick.

If you’re planning on traveling, ask yourself the following questions before you go:

  • Is COVID-19 spreading where you’re going?
  • What restrictions are in place where you’re going?
  • Will you be able to socially distance yourself from other travelers?
  • Is anyone in your group particularly vulnerable to getting sick?

Learn how you can take steps to reduce the risk of catching or spreading COVID-19 while traveling here: https://bit.ly/3dYjWgx, and check out these traveling FAQs from CDC:  https://bit.ly/2CVWcgi.

There are burn restrictions currently in place in many areas in the SLV. Please make responsible decisions when considering your holiday activities regarding burning and fireworks. See https://www.slvemergency.org/fire/ for the most current information.

For questions about testing or for medical advice, please contact your primary care doctor or call one of the numbers below to start the screening process:

For symptomatic individuals only, call:

  • Rio Grande Hospital 719-657-4990
  • SLVHealth Respiratory Clinic 719-589-2511 ext. 9 

For symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals who have had contact with a confirmed COVID-19 positive individual, call:

  • 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 07/02/2020 09:07 PM

Current Fire Restrictions in the SLV and surrounding areas (as of 7/2/2020).

Alamosa County: Stage 1 Fire Restrictions

Conejos County: Fire Restrictions automatic during Red Flag Warning.

Costilla County: Fire Restrictions automatic during Red Flag Warning.

Hinsdale County: Stage 1 Fire Restrictions: https://www.colorado.gov/hinsdalecounty

Mineral County: Stage 2 Fire Restrictions:  https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/mineralcountycolorado/office-emergency-management-0

Rio Grande County: Stage 2 Fire Restrictions from County Road 18 west to the western county line.

South Fork Fire Rescue area: https://www.southforkfirerescue.com/fire-restrictions?fbclid=IwAR0-cC7OSsIVMVMhHHm2meMMWTuljnC4x2aBl3gmgzSkc2AewwbV_FNVitc

Saguache County: Stage 2 Fire Restrictions: https://www.saguachecounty.net   

https://www.saguachecounty.net/images/docs-downloadable-by-department/admin-downloadable-docs/2020-admin-docs/Fire%20Ban%2004-21-2020.pdf

Town of Saguache: Fire Restrictions.

Town of Crestone: Stage Two Fire Restrictions:  https://townofcrestone.colorado.gov/news-article/stage-ii-fire-ban-in-effect

Fireworks are illegal on Public Lands: every forest, every campsite, every day.   

BLM Stage 1 fire restrictions in five San Luis Valley counties: Alamosa, Rio Grande, Conejos, Costilla, and Saguache counties:  https://www.blm.gov/node/19314

Pike and San Isabel National Forests Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands is currently in fire restrictions:  https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/psicc/alerts-notices/?aid=58651

The Rio Grande National Forest: Stage 2 fire restrictions: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd721979.pdf

Great Sand Dunes National Park is currently in fire restrictions: https://www.nps.gov/grsa/learn/news/great-sand-dunes-implements-emergency-fire-restrictions.htm

Grand Mesa Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests Stage 1 Fire Restrictions on Uncompahgre Plateau: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/gmug/home/?cid=stelprdb5420083

For an updated map and information about burn restrictions in counties across the State, including the SLV, see: http://www.coemergency.com/p/fire-bans-danger.html m=1&fbclid=IwAR0FdRTN0KT5Om6tmVDOEvo325BsSDHlKaE0R8_lfaqogiOYwi0y-VtbzPM

By slveadmin on 07/02/2020 06:07 PM

July 1, 2020 Daily Update (Español)

Two new cases for the SLV have been reported since yesterday: 1 each from Alamosa County and Conejos County. The total number of cumulative cases is now 427. There are currently 81 known active cases. Thirty-one total people have been hospitalized, and 338 have completed their isolation period and been free of symptoms for 72 hours.  There have been 8 fatalities of individuals with COVID-19. Numbers are updated weekdays at slvemergency.org/slv-covid-19/.

Today the State released an Amendment to the “Safer at Home” Public Health Order. Below is a short summary of the changes. 

  • Allows professional sports to resume after receiving approval from CDPHE of a reopening plan, recreational sports to follow personal recreation requirements 
  • Closes in-person service bars that do not serve food from a retail food establishment
    • Note: This does not apply to bars in the SLV because all our bars serve food.
  • Extends the “Safer at Home” Public Health Order for 30 days
  • Removes the curb-side only restriction on libraries 
  • Allows real estate open houses to occur in accordance with Indoor Event requirements

The full Order can be found here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1SGpUbcOFI6W0gdkXntKtSW9pitGoBF6H/view

In a press conference Tuesday, the Governor spoke about the next level of re-openings, dubbed, “Protect Your Neighbor,” in which each jurisdiction must meet certain metrics in order to move into the next phase. Tomorrow, SLV Public Health directors will meet to discuss these metrics and whether a region-wide approach is appropriate to move into the next phase.

As we gear up for the holiday weekend, it is critical to follow public health guidelines to keep safe while being around others. Wear a cloth face covering at all times when out and about, and keep a safe distance from others. Wash your hands frequently, particularly before and after preparing and consuming food. If you are feeling sick, stay away from other people, enjoy events virtually, and keep in touch with friends and family remotely. Respect each other and support our businesses by committing to doing your part to keep our community safe from COVID-19.

Several areas in the Valley have prohibited fireworks due to critical fire conditions across the region. It is important to be aware of burn restrictions in your area. Call your Sheriff’s Office with questions.

Asymptomatic testing is not available in the SLV unless the individual has had close contact with a confirmed positive case.

For questions about testing or for medical advice, please contact your primary care doctor or call one of the numbers below to start the screening process:

For symptomatic individuals only, call:

  • Rio Grande Hospital 719-657-4990
  • SLVHealth Respiratory Clinic 719-589-2511 ext. 9 

For symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals who have had contact with a confirmed COVID-19 positive individual, call:

  • 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 

This is a difficult time for many people. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, please don’t hesitate to ask for support:

By slveadmin on 07/01/2020 09:07 PM

June 30, 2020 Daily Update (Español)

Five new cases for the SLV have been reported since yesterday: 3 from Alamosa County, and 1 each for Costilla and Rio Grande counties. The total number of cumulative cases is now 425. There are currently 83 known active cases. Thirty-one total people have been hospitalized, and 334 have completed isolation. There have been 8 fatalities of individuals with COVID-19. Numbers are updated weekdays at slvemergency.org/slv-covid-19/.

While the SLV is a prime tourist destination, and more travelers are arriving every day, Public Health and providers have noted the recent increase in cases is primarily among local residents and may be attributed to individuals experiencing increased contact with others in the community due to attending events and gatherings.

It is imperative for individuals who are waiting on COVID-19 test results to stay home and away from other people until results come back. Even if you have no symptoms at the time, you can still transmit the infection to others you come in contact with.

The State has developed a helpful COVID Symptom Support Tool for individuals who contract COVID-19. This tool allows you to get daily check-ins, easily find testing information, find telehealth services, and get connected to mental health assistance. It also allows you to share your symptoms with Public Health, who use the information to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in Colorado. Find more info on the Symptom Support Tool here: https://covid19.colorado.gov/covid19-symptoms

Asymptomatic testing is not available in the SLV unless the individual has had close contact with a confirmed positive case.

For questions about testing or for medical advice, please contact your primary care doctor or call one of the numbers below to start the screening process:

For symptomatic individuals only, call:

  • Rio Grande Hospital 719-657-4990
  • SLVHealth Respiratory Clinic 719-589-2511 ext. 9 

For symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals who have had contact with a confirmed COVID-19 positive individual, call:

  • Valley-Wide Health Systems 719-589-3658 ext. 9 (M-F), 719-589-2562 (Sa/Su)
  • Upcoming testing clinics (you must call ahead for an appointment):
    • Center, Wednesday,  7/1, 3-4 pm, 719-587-2888. 
    • Saguache, TBD

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

This is a difficult time for many people. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, please don’t hesitate to ask for support:

By slveadmin on 06/30/2020 11:06 PM

June 29, 2020 Daily Update (Español)

Twenty-one new cases for the SLV have been reported since Friday, 6/26: 12 from Alamosa County, 2 each for Conejos and Mineral, 4 for Rio Grande, and 1 for Saguache County. The total number of cumulative cases is now 420. There are currently 98 known active cases. Thirty-one total people have been hospitalized, and 314 have completed isolation. Today Alamosa County confirmed another COVID-related fatality, a resident of a long-term care facility. There have been 8 fatalities of individuals with COVID-19 in the SLV. Numbers are updated weekdays at slvemergency.org/slv-covid-19/.

Times of crisis often fuel innovation, and this pandemic is no exception. Cloth face coverings are necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19 but can create issues with communication. Not only do face coverings sometimes muffle sound, being able to see facial expressions is a critical component to understanding others, particularly for individuals who rely on lip-reading. Early on in the pandemic, some mask makers addressed this issue by creating face coverings where the mouth and lower face was visible through a plastic window. The effectiveness of these face coverings as compared to other types of face coverings made for public use is still unknown, but it is encouraging that people are coming up with solutions to help accommodate identified needs. The CDC elaborates, “If a clear face covering isn’t available, consider whether you can use written communication, use closed captioning, or decrease background noise to make communication possible while wearing a cloth face covering that blocks your lips.”

 No matter what kind of face covering you wear, it is important to wear one when you are around others or out in public during the pandemic, particularly when social distancing is a challenge. In combination with social distancing and handwashing, wearing a cloth face covering has been proven to be an effective deterrent to transmitting COVID-19. For updated recommendations from the CDC about cloth face coverings, see this link:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover-guidance.html

Current fire weather conditions are critical across the SLV region. Please be familiar with burning restrictions in your area. Also, be aware of the health hazards associated with wildfire smoke. If the smoke is thick enough that you can’t see clearly 5 miles in any direction, it is unhealthy to be outside. People with chronic lung conditions, asthma, and other issues should be especially vigilant. In addition, exposure to wildfire smoke can make you more susceptible to complications if you develop COVID-19. More here: https://www.usfa.fema.gov/current_events/062920.html

For questions about testing or for medical advice, please contact your primary care doctor or call one of the numbers below to start the screening process:

For symptomatic individuals only, call:

  • Rio Grande Hospital 719-657-4990
  • SLVHealth Respiratory Clinic 719-589-2511 ext. 9 

For symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals who have had contact with a confirmed COVID-19 positive individual, call:

  • Valley-Wide Health Systems 719-589-3658 ext. 9 (M-F), 719-589-2562 (Sa/Su)
  • Upcoming testing clinics (you must call ahead for an appointment):
    • Center, Monday-Wednesday,  6/29-7/1, 3-4 pm, 719-587-2888. 
    • Saguache, TBD

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

This is a difficult time for many people. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, please don’t hesitate to ask for support:

  • SLV Behavioral Health Group: 719-589-3671
  • 24/7 Crisis Hotline: 1 (844) 493-TALK (8255), or text TALK to 38255

Online: www.colorado.gov/ruralmentalhealth, www.slvbhg.org

By slveadmin on 06/29/2020 10:06 PM