PUBLIC HEALTH UPDATE – July 22, 2020
SAN LUIS VALLEY – The San Luis Valley has seen a welcome slowing of COVID-19 cases in the first half of July. However, Colorado as a whole is experiencing an increase, which prompted last week’s statewide mask order. We have an opportunity here in the San Luis Valley to take actions now to keep our numbers low and on track to qualify to move toward the next phase of re-opening, Protect Our Neighbors. Continued physical distancing and use of face coverings will be key to our ability forward.
Since yesterday, Alamosa County reported 5 new COVID-19 cases and Mineral County reported 1 new cases. There are currently 29 known active cases in our region.
So far, 3,507 COVID-19 tests have been completed for the San Luis Valley. The percentage of tests that are positive is known as the positivity rate. The positivity rate shows whether there is enough testing being done, and how likely it is that we are missing a large number of cases. Our positivity rate over the past 2 weeks has been 2.63%. Our goal is to keep our positivity rate below 5%. Positivity rate should not be confused with case incidence rate.
The case incidence rate shows the number of cases relative to the population. Over the past two weeks, the rate of new cases for the San Luis Valley has moved from the “high” category down to the “moderate” category. (https://covid19.colorado.gov/data/incidence-epidemic-curve).
Low positivity rate and case incidence rate are among the requirements for moving into the Protect Our Neighbors phase. Additional requirements include low hospitalization rates, adequate hospital capacity to treat a potential rise in COVID patients, public health capacity for increased case investigation and follow up, and other planning requirements. Public Health and partners are working hard to keep these indicators moving in the right direction. Valley-Wide Health Systems is partnering with local public health agencies to help expand future case investigation capacity. Our region, through Alamosa County, has applied for a planning grant to help us with the planning portion of the Protect Our Neighbor requirements.
For testing of 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: firstname.lastname@example.org, 719-480-8719