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.


March 29, 2020 Update

Following the release of yesterday’s update, Rio Grande County Public health received a notification of a fourth positive case of COVID-19, an adult who is currently hospitalized. Today, Costilla County Public Health also identified two new positive cases, bringing the total for Costilla County to three and the total for the San Luis Valley to nine. We expect this number to continue to grow, and we remind the public that this number includes only those who have been identified. The number of identified local cases of COVID-19 will be updated regularly at slvemergency.org/slv-covid-19/

If you have COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath), call the nurseline for advice before seeking in-person care. Calling a nurseline can give you more information about what to do next. A nurse can help you decide when to contact your doctor or visit a health care facility, understand your medications, or give you more information about preventative care. There is no cost for using this service. 

San Luis Valley Nurse Lines:

San Luis Valley Health 719-589-2511 ext 9 

Rio Grande Hospital 719-657-4990 

Valley Wide Health Systems 719-589-3658 ext 9

The San Luis Valley has launched an online symptom tracker to help provide a more complete picture of the spread of illness in our community. If you or a family member have experienced symptoms of COVID-19, (fever, cough, shortness of breath) since March 1st, please take the time to complete this survey to help public health track illness within our community. That survey can be completed by going to www.slvemergency.org/slv-covid-19 .

We know it is difficult to continue staying at home, without any contact with those outside your immediate family, unless it’s through video chats. However, it is very important that you follow this direction from Governor Polis and remain at home, venturing out only for the bare necessities, such as groceries or prescriptions. If you have a regular prescription, consider utilizing a mail service for those prescriptions and when you go grocery shopping, limit the trip to one family member to further aid in social distancing practices. 

SLV COVID general questions 9am-3pm: 719-480-8719 for English, or 719-315-5019 for Spanish.

CO HELP line 1-877-462-2911 (English and Spanish) for Colorado general information.

Colorado updates and guidance: https://covid19.colorado.gov 

CDC updates and guidance: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus

Small Business – www.choosecolorado.comVolunteer or Donate – www.helpcoloradonow.org

By slveadmin on 03/30/2020 12:03 AM

San Luis Valley COVID-19 test results

March 28, 2020 UPDATE

Two new positive COVID-19 test results were received in our area in the past 24 hours, one for a Mineral County resident, and another for a Rio Grande resident, bringing the total for Rio Grande County to three, and the total for the San Luis Valley to six. Those who would like to see the numbers so far for the San Luis Valley can click on the link at the top of this page.

The State of Colorado is pushing out a warning today against using any alternative medications or chemicals to treat or prevent COVID-19, unless under the direction of a physician. Do not use chloroquine phosphate or anything a health care provider does not prescribe, as a COVID-19 remedy. It could kill you.

1.     Do not ingest aquarium-use products or any other chemicals that contain chloroquine phosphate. These chemicals are not intended for human consumption and can lead to serious health consequences, including death.

2.     Medications like chloroquine phosphate and hydroxychloroquine sulfate should be taken only when prescribed by and under the supervision of your healthcare provider and always according to the instructions provided.

3.     Seek immediate medical attention if you are experiencing any unexpected symptoms after taking chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine by contacting your healthcare provider or your poison center (1-800-222-1222).  

Please continue to follow local and state public health orders to stay at home. This can be a stressful time for many of our neighbors. Please be kind to one another. It is wonderful to see how our community members are finding creative ways to help one another within the bounds of current restrictions. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, please call 719-589.3671 or call the crisis hotline 1 (844) 493-TALK (8255) or text TALK to 38255 to receive mental health crisis support.

SLV COVID general questions 9am-3pm: 719-480-8719 for English, or 719-315-5019 for Spanish.

CO HELP line 1-877-462-2911 (English and Spanish) for Colorado general information.

Colorado updates and guidance: https://covid19.colorado.gov 

CDC updates and guidance: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus

Small Business – www.choosecolorado.com

Volunteer or Donate – www.helpcoloradonow.org 

By slveadmin on 03/27/2020 11:03 PM

March 26 Daily Briefing

San Luis Valley –

In the past twenty-four hours, new positive COVID-19 test results were received in Alamosa for a resident in Alamosa County in their 80’s and a Costilla County resident in their 20’s. Added to the two cases confirmed in Rio Grande County earlier this week, that brings the total to four for the San Luis Valley. We expect that we will see more, as more of our pending tests are processed. These new results reinforce the importance of staying home to slow down the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.

On Wednesday, Governor Polis issued a stay-at-home order for Colorado. Today, many in our community are trying to figure out exactly what that means, and how to comply with this temporary law. In a nutshell, the order is for everyone to stay at home, unless you are engaged in a critical business or an essential activity. Large group gatherings, which had already been prohibited by recent local public health orders in most counties, are not in alignment with the new temporary State law.

More details about the Governor’s order, including a useful “Frequently Asked Questions” document that spells out which activities and businesses are exempt, can be found at https://covid19.colorado.gov/. The same website includes a daily update of COVID-19 cases in Colorado. It should be noted that there may be a lag time of several days between when someone is tested, and when their results are reported. General questions about COVID-19 in the San Luis Valley can be directed to 719-480-8719.

Under the governor’s order, you may still travel in your car to do essential business like getting your prescriptions filled, getting groceries, or going to work if your work is exempt under the order. It is still okay to go outside and enjoy your yard or go for a walk as long as you maintain distance from others. Grandparents, use your phone to chat with your grandchildren, rather than having your grandchildren come over to visit. Continue to wash your hands frequently.

The San Luis Valley received and distributed some essential personal protective equipment this week to health care providers and first responders through the San Luis Valley Healthcare Coalition. Another shipment is anticipated to be distributed again soon. The supplies, which came through the public health Strategic National Stockpile, were distributed in coordination with San Luis Valley Healthcare Coalition. They are helpful, but they are limited, and they are not anticipated to be enough to fill demand as this pandemic progresses.

As a reminder, please avoid flushing anything except toilet paper. If you are using an alternative to toilet paper such as baby wipes, “flushable” wipes, paper towels, or other alternative, safely dispose of them in the trash bag instead of the toilet. Remember safe trash disposal and tie the trash bag closed to reduce the risk of others being exposed to the waste.

SLV COVID-19 general questions: 719-480-8719, 9am-3pm
CO HELP line 1-877-462-2911 (English and Spanish) for Colorado general information.
Colorado updates and guidance: https://covid19.colorado.gov
CDC updates and guidance: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus
Small Business – www.choosecolorado.com
Volunteer or Donate – www.helpcoloradonow.org


Spanish Version

26 de Marzo, Información diaria

San Luis Valley-

En las últimas veinticuatro horas, se recibieron dos resultados positivos de la prueba COVID-19. Uno de los resultados positivos fue en Alamosa en un residente del condado de Alamosa en sus 80 años, y el Segundo resultado positivo en un residente del condado de Costilla en sus 20 años. Sumado a los dos casos confirmados en el Condado de Rio Grande a principios de esta semana, eso lleva el total a cuatro casos en el Valle de San Luis. Anticipamos ver más casos, a medida que se procesen más las nuestras pruebas pendientes. Estos nuevos resultados refuerzan la importancia de quedarse en casa para frenar la propagación del virus que causa COVID-19.

El miércoles, el gobernador Polis emitió una orden de quedarse en casa para Colorado. Hoy, muchos en nuestra comunidad están tratando de averiguar exactamente qué significa eso y cómo cumplir con esta ley temporal. En pocas palabras, la orden es que todos se queden en casa, a menos que estén involucrados en un negocio crítico o una actividad esencial. Las reuniones de grupos grandes, que ya habían sido prohibidas por las recientes órdenes locales de salud pública en la mayoría de los condados, no están alineadas con la nueva ley estatal temporal.

En la página web https://covid19.colorado.gov/ encontrará más detalles sobre la orden del Gobernador, incluido un documento útil de “Preguntas frecuentes” que detalla qué actividades y negocios están exentos. El mismo sitio web incluye una actualización diaria de los casos de COVID-19 en Colorado. Cabe señalar que puede haber un tiempo de retraso de varios días entre el momento en que alguien se somete a la prueba y el momento en que se informan sus resultados. Las preguntas generales sobre COVID-19 en el Valle de San Luis pueden dirigirse al 719-480-8719.

De acuerdo con la orden del gobernador, aún puede viajar en su automóvil para realizar asuntos esenciales, como el surtir sus recetas, comprar alimentos o ir a trabajar si su trabajo está exento según la orden. Todavía está bien salir a la calle y disfrutar de su jardín o salir a caminar siempre que se mantenga alejado de los demás. Abuelos, use su teléfono para conversar con sus nietos, en lugar de hacer que sus nietos vengan a visitarlo. Continúe lavándose las manos con frecuencia.

El Valle de San Luis recibió y distribuyó algunos equipos de protección personal esenciales esta semana a proveedores de atención médica y personal de primeros auxilios a través de el San Luis Valley Healthcare Coalition. Se anticipa que otro envío se distribuirá nuevamente pronto. Los suministros, que llegaron a través de la Reserva Nacional Estratégica de salud pública, se distribuyeron en coordinación con el San Luis Valley Healthcare Coalition. Son útiles, pero son limitados, y no se anticipa que sean suficientes para satisfacer la demanda a medida que avanza esta pandemia.

Como recordatorio, evite tirar cualquier cosa excepto papel higiénico. Si está utilizando una alternativa al papel higiénico, como toallitas húmedas para bebés, toallitas “lavables”, toallas de papel u otra alternativa, deséchelas de manera segura en la bolsa de basura en vez del inodoro. Recuerde desechar la basura de manera segura y ate la bolsa de basura para reducir el riesgo de que otras personas se expongan a la basura.

Preguntas generales de SLV COVID-19: 719-480-8719, 9 am-3pm
Línea de ayuda de CO HELP 1-877-462-2911 (inglés y español) para información general de Colorado.
Actualizaciones y guías recomendadas por Colorado: https://covid19.colorado.gov
Actualizaciones y guías recomendadas por CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus
Pequeña empresa – www.choosecolorado.com
Voluntario o donación – www.helpcoloradonow.org

#SLVCOVID19 #COVID19Colorado #SLVStrong

By slveadmin on 03/26/2020 11:03 PM

This is a challenging time, and we recognize the hardships that some of our neighbors are experiencing during this pandemic. In the face of these difficulties, we are seeing neighbors rise up to help neighbors in new and different ways that protect one another from exposure to this new virus. 

One of the results of everyone preparing to stay at home for extended periods of time is that our grocery store shelves suddenly looked emptier than usual. This was just because people were buying more all at once, not because there isn’t enough food. The nation’s food supply is still strong, and as we move forward we are seeing the shelves are being refilled regularly. Please be considerate of others in your shopping. Remember to leave some for your neighbors who may not have had enough funds on hand to stock up as well in the beginning. If you already have enough and some to spare, remember the food banks. In these times, even more than usual, there are many in the San Luis Valley who rely on food banks to help them get through the month. 

Support local businesses if you can, by taking advantage of take-out, grocery pick-up, and online services. If you must run an essential errand, keep it quick and maintain a 6-foot distance between yourself and others. If you need medications, check to see if there’s a pharmacy that delivers so you don’t have to go out. Keep abreast of new restrictions that may be issued through the Governor’s Office. 

Some people have wondered if it is still safe to seek medical care. We have been assured that our hospitals are taking utmost care to keep people safe. Our hospitals and other health care providers have been at the forefront of this battle. Remember to call first before going to the doctor. If you have a medical emergency, call 911 and be sure to tell the dispatcher if you have symptoms like cough, fever, or shortness of breath; or if you are currently self-quarantining due to a possible exposure to someone with COVID-19. 

How long will this last? We don’t know. It may be tempting to start to ease up a bit after we start to get into a new routine, but we can’t afford to become complacent. It is still important to do all of the things you keep hearing. Stay home, wash your hands, don’t have visitors. Thank you for your persistence. We will get through this.

By slveadmin on 03/26/2020 12:03 AM

March 24, 2020

Public Health Update on COVID-19

San Luis Valley – The first two lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the San Luis Valley have prompted some questions about what happens next and how Valley residents can best protect themselves. We will do our best here to answer some of those new questions. 

First, what do these positive tests mean? They mean just that. We have had two positive tests. It does not mean that we have only had two cases of COVID-19. Nationwide, test supplies are limited and not everyone who has possible COVID-19 symptoms is being tested. In fact, some people with COVID-19 do not have symptoms significant enough to prompt them to call a doctor. Those people can all potentially spread the virus to others. This is called “community spread” and it is present in the San Luis Valley. 

Second, what do public health agencies do when a positive test is received? Normal practice in a disease outbreak is to do what is called contact tracing. This involves interviewing the person who has tested positive to see where they have been and whom they have had close contact with during the period when they are infectious, and then contacting those people to advise them on how to isolate or quarantine to prevent the disease from spreading. 

However, this is not a normal outbreak. As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, we have moved quickly past the stage where contact tracing is the most effective approach, and into a new stage where the emphasis is on slowing down community spread. This is when we assume that many people in the community may unknowingly spread the disease to others, so we see things like school closures, public health orders to restrict public gatherings, and wide-scale information campaigns to tell people to put physical distance between themselves and others. We are already at that stage. 

SLV Epidemiologist Lilian Coll is an expert in contagious diseases. Her best advice to everyone, healthy or not, is this: “Stay home. Stay home, and do not invite visitors over. Just stay home as much as possible. Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face. If you must go out, keep at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and other people. All of the things we have been advising people to do every day, that is still what we need everyone to do. The more strictly we all follow this advice, the better we will get through this.” 

When there is community spread, tracing the contacts or activities of just a couple of people who happened to receive a positive test result does not take into account the fact that there are other people in the community, possibly many people, who have the virus now, and there is no reliable way to know who that might be, because it is possible to have and share the virus even before the earliest symptoms show up. So, while a public health agency may decide to do some contact tracing in certain cases, that is not our main emphasis at this point. 

If you have any symptoms — even mild ones — public health urges you to stay home and isolate yourself until: 

  • You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (without the use of medicine) AND
  • Other symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) have improved AND
  • At least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.
  • If you are sick, anyone in your household who has had close contact with you (within six feet for approximately 10 minutes) should self-quarantine for 14 days, even if you haven’t been tested for COVID-19.

If you have a medical emergency, call 911. If you have severe respiratory symptoms, especially shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, tell the 911 dispatcher about your symptoms. Do not wait for a COVID-19 test to call 911.

SLV COVID-19 Information Line 719-480-8719

CO HELP line 1-877-462-2911 (English and Spanish) for Colorado general information.

Colorado updates and guidance: https://covid19.colorado.gov 

CDC updates and guidance: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus

Small Business – www.choosecolorado.comVolunteer or Donate – www.helpcoloradonow.org

By slveadmin on 03/25/2020 12:03 AM