MAY 18, 2020 UPDATE

In an effort to address local economic needs, several SLV counties have requested variances from portions of the Governor’s current Safer at Home Public Health Order. Silver Thread Public Health District announced yesterday that their variance request was approved. We will have more information tomorrow about new and pending variances for additional counties in the Valley. 

Conejos County Public Health is investigating possible COVID-19 exposures at the Conejos County Jail. One employee has been confirmed to have the virus. Close contacts of the confirmed positive employee have been instructed to isolate at home, monitor symptoms, and be tested.  Due to use of masks, proper cleaning and hygiene, and limited contact, inmates are at relatively low risk. Right now, there is no outbreak at any facility in Conejos County. Conejos County Public Health is actively monitoring the situation and updates will be available soon.

This week is National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) week. We would like to recognize and congratulate our local EMS agencies in their efforts to keep people alive, and especially their willingness to continue during the COVID pandemic. They put their own lives at risk every day to help save others. 

We would also like to recognize the difficult work of Alamosa County Public Health in helping to contain the recent outbreak in Alamosa County. Mushroom Farm employees have been diligent in keeping themselves and each other healthy by carefully following public health recommendations. Several of them have now completed their isolation periods successfully.

Today, there were no confirmed positive tests, so our number remains at 76. Fifteen of those cases were hospitalized, and thirty-four have completed isolation. County case counts and other San Luis Valley data are updated weekdays at

Last week we reported in error that the SLV had a 22% COVID-19 testing positivity rate.  We re-evaluated the data and updated it with increased testing data over the weekend. As a region, our positivity rate right now is just above 10%, which means we are in line with recommended testing levels, although Alamosa and Saguache counties are significantly higher at 15% and 19% respectively when measured separately. The higher the percentage, the greater the need for more testing. The more testing we do, the more accurate the numbers become.

ALL symptomatic individuals are now encouraged to pursue testing. Please call one of the nurse-lines below to start the screening process.

• Rio Grande Hospital 719-657-4990

• SLV Health Nurse Line 719-589-2511 ext. 9

• Valley Wide Health Systems 719-589-3658 ext. 9
SLV COVID general questions 719-480-8719. You may also email your questions to

May 18, 2020

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