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

September 17, 2020 Public Health Update

The SLV currently has 2 known active COVID-19 cases. See more data here: slvemergency.org/slv-covid-19.

This week, the Governor released a statewide COVID-19 “dial” to help communities better gauge and communicate their current level of risk and response to COVID-19. The dial framework has a series of five levels, ranging from Stay-At-Home to Protect Our Neighbors.The San Luis Valley is preparing a website to give the public a clear picture of the status of our counties and our region as we prepare for certification to move from Safer at Home to Protect Our Neighbors. In the meantime, find out more about the new state dial at https://covid19.colorado.gov/data/covid-19-dial/covid-19-dial-dashboard

Public Health encourages everyone to take advantage of the free community COVID-19 testing event hosted by Adams State University in conjunction with Mako Medical, the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, and the Alamosa County Public Health Department this weekend, September 19th and 20th, at the Adams State University campus. This is a drive-thru testing event that will be held in the McDaniel Hall parking lot on the Adams State Campus from 8am to 5pm this Saturday and Sunday. 

Pre-registration is recommended, although on-site registration will be available. To pre-register, please visit https://www.adams.edu/safe-return/testing and select the “SLV Community Registration Form.” Individuals will get test results within 4 days of the test. You do not need to have symptoms or a doctor’s note to be tested! 

To pursue testing for COVID-19 outside the above site, or for medical questions, call:

  • Rio Grande Hospital 719-657-4990
  • SLV Health 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 09/17/2020 09:09 PM

September 10th, 2020 Public Health Update 

The SLV currently has 6 known active COVID-19 cases.

  • Alamosa: 3
  • Conejos:0
  • Costilla: 0
  • Mineral: 2
  • Rio Grande: 0
  • Saguache: 1

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. 

Public Health would also like to remind parents to check children for symptoms of COVID-19 prior to sending them to school. If your child is ill, keep them home and consult your family’s medical provider or one of the below numbers to pursue testing for COVID-19. Keeping your child home when ill is one of the key ways to prevent school exposures to illnesses such as COVID-19. 

 Remember, there are other diseases that Public Health is concerned with besides COVID-19. Please be cautious around wild animals due to the potential for rabies transmission. Within the past 5 years, Alamosa, Saguache, and Mineral Counties have all documented rabies-positive bats. In addition, there have been two cases of plague reported in Colorado in 2020, making this the first year with human cases since 2015. If you see a bat or other animal acting strangely, or find one in your building or house, do not attempt to capture it. Call your local animal control agency and leave dead animals alone. 

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 09/11/2020 12:09 AM

Public Health Update for September 3, 2020

The SLV currently has 5 known active COVID-19 cases.

  • Alamosa: 2
  • Conejos:0
  • Costilla: 0
  • Mineral: 0
  • Rio Grande: 0
  • Saguache: 3

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. When we speak of COVID testing, we are usually referring to a test that checks for the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is the cause of COVID-19 illness. 

Generally, there is no out-of-pocket cost to symptomatic people who are screened and who meet the criteria for testing by our local partners (SLV Health, Rio Grande Hospital, and Valley Wide). An exception may occur when a different type of test panel is used, at the discretion of the doctor, to test for several things at once. The best practice is to ask this question when you call to be screened or when you see your doctor.

Antibody testing is different. Rather than checking for the presence of the virus, this test checks to see if you have had exposure or illness that has resulted in your body producing protective antibodies. You do not have to have symptoms or have a provider’s order to get an antibody test. They are available for $50 from Rio Grande Hospital or from SLV Health. Antibody test results should be interpreted with the understanding that the science is still new on this, and we don’t have definite answers yet as to the strength or duration of protection offered by COVID-19 antibodies.   

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 09/03/2020 10:09 PM

Public Health Update for August 27, 2020

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

The San Luis Valley region, like virtually all of Colorado, continues to operate with Safer at Home level COVID-19 precautions. Very few counties around the state have variances to Safer at Home in place. 

In early August, prompted by communication from the federal COVID-19 task force, a Colorado stakeholder workgroup was given the task to define appropriate mitigation strategies that achieve the greatest public health impact with the least economic disruption. Rural public health agencies are represented on the workgroup by Alamosa County Public Health Director Della Vieira. The product of the group’s efforts is expected to be available in the next 2-3 weeks. 

San Luis Valley public health agencies have been preparing to apply for  Protect Our Neighbor certification, developing a framework to include a mitigation plan and status monitoring system as required for certification. The final version of the San Luis Valley plan will be informed by the guidelines produced by the state stakeholder workgroup. 

In addition to the planning requirements, certification for Protect Our Neighbor requires demonstration that COVID-19 levels are staying low in our community, so please continue to practice social distancing, cover your face when in public, and wash your hands frequently. During the past two weeks, our rates have been slightly out of the range to qualify for Protect Our Neighbor, but it appears that they may be moving back in the right direction again. 

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 08/27/2020 10:08 PM

COVID-19 Blog:  August 20, 2020 (Español)

See case data and more here, updated weekdays: https://www.slvemergency.org/slv-covid-19.

We would like to address a few more questions posed to us recently: 

Q. What is known about the long-term effects of COVID-19? 

A. Because this virus is so new, there are still many unknowns about long-term effects. A recent CDC study found that 1 in 5 previously healthy young adults weren’t fully recovered two to three weeks after testing positive for the virus. Another study suggested that some patients show signs of heart damage 2-3 months after COVID. Much more time and many more studies are needed for scientists to be able to answer this question well. 

Q. What are the chances of getting COVID-19 in the San Luis Valley? 

A. This is another challenging question. As of today, just over 1% of San Luis Valley residents have tested positive for the virus. What we don’t know is how many COVID-19 cases have gone unreported. What we do know is that an individual can drastically reduce the likelihood of getting and spreading the virus through consistent use of social distancing, face covers, and hand washing. 

Q. What is the fatality rate? 

A. Data from Johns Hopkins University shows that in the United States, 3.1% of COVID-19 cases result in death. Even though people of any age can get and spread COVID, the risk of death is much higher for some people than for others. In the San Luis Valley, 34% of our COVID-19 cases have been in people over the age of 50, but 100% of our COVID-related fatalities have been in this same age group.  

A Message from SLV Health: Whether you think you have COVID-19, a cold, the flu, or allergies, it’s important to get it checked out so you can get the targeted care you need to get better. The clinicians at the SLV Respiratory Clinic at Stuart Avenue in Alamosa want to let you know they are prepared to quickly evaluate you in a safe manner that will take into account the precautions necessary during a pandemic. Amy Blakeslee, PA-C, commented, “I want to ensure providers, staff, and patients that our scope of care reaches beyond just suspected coronavirus symptoms. The public can feel confident that our medical advice is thorough and individualized for each patient.” To be seen, call between 8 am and 5 pm, M-F, at 719-589-2511, Ext. 9.  

This is a tough time for many people. If you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or need to talk to someone, don’t hesitate to reach out. Call the Colorado Crisis Hotline at 1-844-493-TALK (8255), text “TALK” to 38255, or call SLV Behavioral Health at (719) 589-3671.

By slveadmin on 08/20/2020 09:08 PM