COVID-19 – The Pagosa Springs SUN http://www.pagosasun.com The most trusted source for news and information about Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Thu, 04 Jun 2020 20:56:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.1 http://www.pagosasun.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/cropped-sun-logo-512x512-1-32x32.jpg COVID-19 – The Pagosa Springs SUN http://www.pagosasun.com 32 32 Senior News: Medical alert monitoring systems available for seniors http://www.pagosasun.com/senior-news-medical-alert-monitoring-systems-available-for-seniors/ Thu, 04 Jun 2020 21:00:56 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=205109 By Cheryl Wilkinson
PREVIEW Columnist

Medical alert monitoring systems are available for seniors. We can help you get set up with a system and assist with the monthly service charges to your service provider or, if you already have a system in place, we can help supplement the monthly service fees to your provider. For more information, please call 264-2167.

Senior shopping
assistance program

The Pagosa Springs Senior Center has initiated a senior shopping assistance program during this period of pandemic emergency. Many members of our community are practicing social distancing and voluntary isolation, and access to groceries and prescription medicine has been identified as a critical need. 

A hotline has been established to connect with a Senior Center volunteer to get the process started. The access number is 422-7084. 

Volunteers are needed to help staff telephone lines and to perform the actual shopping tasks. In Pagosa Springs, contact Rod Hubbard at (303) 594-5117 to volunteer.

Drive-through pick up lunch and breakfast at the Senior Center

The Senior Center is continuing our temporary closing of the congregate dining room due to coronavirus (COVID-19). 

In order to continue providing meals, we are offering take-out hot meals and a salad with a drive-up option under the portico at the Ross Aragon Community Center. These meals are available Monday through Friday between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. There is a $4 suggested donation for lunch for those age 60 and above. If you need to have your meal delivered, please call 264-2167 to see if this option is available in your area. 

The cost per meal for the public age 59 and under is $8.50. The meals include a salad, hot meal, drink and dessert or bread. (Our daily menu is posted on our website at psseniors.org.) Please call 264-2167 to make a reservation for pickup. We are also continuing our Meals on Wheels program. We are now including breakfast for the next morning with lunch at the drive-through and Meals on Wheels. 

There will be no games, classes or presentations during this time. The staff will be available by phone. If you need to speak to a staff member, please call 264-2167.

The Community Café menu

Thursday, June 4 — Turkey spaghetti, spring pea medley, baked tomato Provencal, milk, salad and lemon cream pie.

Friday, June 5 — Beef cabbage rolls, glazed carrots, cream of mushroom soup, milk, salad and chocolate chip cookie.

Monday, June 8 — Pork posole, Spanish brown rice, roasted Brussels sprouts with sweet chili sauce, milk, salad and flan.

Tuesday, June 9 — Baked cod under dill souffle, red potatoes with butter and parsley, honey garlic green beans, milk, salad and blueberry cream cheese pie.

Wednesday, June 10 — Hot turkey sandwich, sweet potato fries, cream of asparagus soup, milk, salad and peanut butter cookies.

Thursday, June 11 — Beef enchiladas, borracho beans, stir-fried zucchini, milk, salad and Key lime pie.

Reservations and cancellations are required. You can make a reservation at 264-2167 by 9 a.m. the morning of the day you would like to drive through and pick up a meal at The Community Café at the Senior Center in the Community Center. 

For your convenience, you can make your reservations in advance or have a standing reservation on days you know you will always pick up. Please cancel if you cannot attend on your standing reservation days. We want to thank everyone for their support by observing our reservation policy. This helps ensure that everyone with reservations receives a meal and enables us to provide additional and healthier meals.

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Archuleta County to proceed with variance request to state http://www.pagosasun.com/archuleta-county-to-proceed-with-variance-request-to-state/ Thu, 04 Jun 2020 21:00:55 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=205042 By John Finefrock
Staff Writer

Archuleta County will continue to proceed with a variance request to the state of Colorado that would allow for less-strict rules for some organizations to operate.

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.

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Local businesses able to expand outdoors under administrative order http://www.pagosasun.com/local-businesses-able-to-expand-outdoors-under-administrative-order/ Thu, 04 Jun 2020 21:00:49 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=205022 By Chris Mannara
Staff Writer

The Town of Pagosa Springs has implemented a temporary outdoor seating and use permit application for local restaurants and retail businesses, allowing business owners to expand into parking spaces, parking lots or sidewalk areas.

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.

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Town, county extend declarations of local disaster and emergency http://www.pagosasun.com/town-county-extend-declarations-of-local-disaster-and-emergency/ Thu, 04 Jun 2020 21:00:03 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=205046 By Chris Mannara and
John Finefrock
Staff Writers

Both the Pagosa Springs Town Council and the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) extended their respective declarations of local disaster and emergency on Tuesday.

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.

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4th of July: Parade canceled, rodeo canceled, fireworks still set, carnival canceled, Park-to-Park still a go http://www.pagosasun.com/4th-of-july-parade-canceled-rodeo-canceled-fireworks-still-set-carnival-canceled-park-to-park-still-a-go/ Thu, 04 Jun 2020 16:06:19 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=204958

The fireworks are still scheduled for the Fourth of July.

By Chris Mannara
Staff Writer

Pagosa Springs will not be holding its annual Fourth of July Parade, following a Pagosa Springs Town Council decision at its regular meeting on June 2.

Additionally, the organizer of the carnival that comes into town annually during the summer informed town staff that he would not be able to put on the carnival due to logistics, Town Manager Andrea Phillips explained during the meeting.

The town is hopeful that the Fourth of July fireworks display can still be held.

The Park 2 Park Arts and Crafts Festival is still set to occur with certain distancing guidelines and with locations to be determined.

Town staff had submitted a road closure permit application to the Colorado Department of Transportation for a route that would have gone from 6th Street to U.S. 160 to Hot Springs Boulevard and back to Apache Street, Phillips explained during the meeting.

This direction to town staff was based on a decision made by council at a meeting on May 21.

In his fifth public health order, released on Tuesday, Gov. Jared Polis highlighted that rodeos, fairs, festivals and parades are not authorized to occur due to “ongoing disease transmission in larger group settings that could result in disease outbreaks.”

“This order went into effect on June 1 and is supposed to last for 30 days. So in theory, on July 1st he might say, ‘OK, now we can open up to larger crowds,’ but by then, it would be too late for us to try and pull something together,” she said. “I don’t see how we could hold the July 4th parade.”

Council member Matt DeGuise explained during the June 2 meeting that he made the motion to submit the road closure permit application to the state out of “pure optimism,” adding that he was fine with canceling the parade.

“With a heavy heart I move that we cancel the Fourth of July Parade for this year, but that we still continue to move forward with having the fireworks and we allow the Chamber to determine if and how they can move forward with their arts and crafts fair,” council member Shari Pierce said.

Pierce’s motion passed unanimously by council.

In a follow-up interview on Wednesday, Phillips explained she can understand why people would be upset about the Fourth of July parade being canceled.

“We’re following the state’s orders, which don’t allow gatherings. We are looking at ways of moving forward with the fireworks and trying to celebrate Independence Day as a community in a way that’s safe,” she said. “I can understand it. People are very passionate about the Fourth of July and what it means for Americans, but we are trying to ensure that we’re following public health orders. We still want it to be a special day of remembrance of what it means to be an American, but we have to do it in a way that is following the governor’s orders.”

The town is looking at putting up decorations that will call attention to the Fourth of July and commemorate it in other ways that are safe, she added.

Fireworks

“I am still thinking that we can figure out the fireworks because we don’t need to have everybody congregated at one event in one place to do that if we use a little innovation and plan it carefully,” Mayor Don Volger said during the meeting.

Phillips added that the town will need to monitor whether or not possible future fire restrictions could impact the fireworks display.

“In the past, we have been able to get a variance from the county,” Phillips said. “We’ll be monitoring that and we’ll verify that we can do that.”

The town has until the week before the event to notify its fireworks vendor on its decision, Public Works Director Martin Schmidt explained.

Council member Madeline Bergon suggested potentially holding the fireworks on the athletic fields across the street from Town Park.

That field has gotten the “respite that it needs,” Bergon explained.

“I wish I could say there would be no damage, but anytime you hold an event on a field it creates some damage,” Parks and Recreation Director Darren Lewis said. “I have no problem if the event goes there.”

In the follow-up interview, Phillips explained that the plan is to hold the fireworks in the usual location on the hill behind Pagosa Springs High School.

“We’re going to need to think about how to disperse gatherings since that’s still not permitted under the state order,” she said. “We’re going to have to think about a plan to encourage people to really spread out and not congregate at Yamaguchi Park and certain areas.”

Park 2 Park Arts and Crafts Festival

During the meeting, Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Mary Jo Coulehan explained that one vendor has canceled for its arts and crafts fair.

“They are very anxious to see if we can move forward or not,” Coulehan said. 

The Park 2 Park event can have vendors “space accordingly,” Coulehan noted.

“Currently, our vendor spaces are already 12-by-12, so there is significant distancing there, but with the carnival not happening now, we came up with a couple of different scenarios,” she said.

One of those scenarios would be to use the existing spaces that are available and take the vendors in Town Park “down by half” and do the same for the vendors in Mary Fisher Park, spreading them through Centennial Park, she described.

“If the carnival is not going to happen, we could concentrate the fair in both Town Park and the athletic field and really spread something out,” she added.

The Park 2 Park event is a “flow situation” for three days, according to Coulehan.

“The biggest attendance that we have is always after the Fourth of July parade. With that not happening, that also affects the flow and keeps it very steady,” she said. “We can certainly work on traffic flow through the vendors, but we can easily now put the vendors with significant space in between.”

Coulehan added that the Chamber wants to help the community and give people something to do during the Fourth of July holiday.

“I would like to do as much as we can to enable people to celebrate Fourth of July in our community,” Volger said. “If we can do the Park 2 Park thing safely, I’m all for it.”

Rodeo

In an email to The SUN on Thursday, Western Heritage Event Center board member Lisa Scott wrote, “It is with great sadness, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Western Heritage Event Center Board of Directors is cancelling the 71st annual Red Ryder Rodeo. This heavy decision was made after the Governor released the 5th public health order ‘safer at home and in the vast, great outdoors’ which prohibits rodeos. This action is for the safety of our contestants, spectators, stock contractor and staff, volunteers and the overall safety and health of our community. We thank our sponsors and spectators for their continued support and for loving rodeo! We look forward to 2021. Please stay safe.”

chris@pagosasun.com

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Nearly 1,000 coronavirus patients have been treated with plasma, with the help of this statewide collaboration http://www.pagosasun.com/nearly-1000-coronavirus-patients-have-been-treated-with-plasma-with-the-help-of-this-statewide-collaboration/ Thu, 04 Jun 2020 15:43:49 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=204940

Photo courtesy Colorado Public Radio
Labor and delivery nurse Julie Christen, who recovered from COVD-19 in March, watches the equipment as she donates plasma for the fourth time at the UCHealth Garth Englund Blood Center in Fort Collins.

By Claire Cleveland
CPR News

Chris Ciarallo paced his small hospital room while watching the news. He talked to his doctors over the phone, and only saw other people three times a day when they brought his food and medicine.

He tested positive for COVID-19 a week earlier on April 20. Before his diagnosis, Ciarallo was intubating COVID-19 patients at Denver Health where he’s the director of pediatric anesthesiology and staff anesthesiologist. He suspects he caught the virus while at work.

“The first week was at home fevers, bad night sweats, you know, changing clothes three or four times a night cause you’re sweating and rigoring all through the night,” he said. “Some headaches into muscle aches. But again, nothing that I couldn’t handle at home.”

What he thought would be a week of illness and then back to work, turned out to be a hospital stay.

His condition only got worse.

“I started coughing up pink fluid, dropped my oxygen, my heart rate wouldn’t come down from about 120, 130,” he said. “I just couldn’t get the fever to break.”

He and his wife, who’s also a physician, consulted their friends and colleagues who insisted Ciarallo go to the hospital. His wife taped off the back of the minivan so they could stay separated. They each wore N-95 masks as she drove him to the ER at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital.

“The hardest part of that is driving up to the front of the hospital and saying goodbye from a distance. Saying, you know, ‘I’m sure I’ll be okay, but maybe not.’ No hugs, no nothing. Just kind of dropped off like an ambulance would and then she disappeared,” he said. “Walking into the ER, knowing that I’m exposing other people, not knowing what my trajectory is and went into the hospital hoping for some answers.”

At the hospital, his labs were declining, but he wasn’t bad enough to need a ventilator. Ciarallo was also too far out from his COVID-19 diagnosis to partake in the hospital’s trial of an antiviral drug, Remdesivir.

“Nothing more disheartening than coming to a hospital to get blood thinners and Tylenol and being told that there’s really no other options for you,” he said.

With no proven treatments for COVID-19, his doctors could only do so much. But, Ciarallo knew that doctors at the hospital were using plasma to treat patients with the virus.

“No one really had a plan for a 43-year-old that didn’t need to be on a ventilator, whose labs just continued to get worse,” he said. “So, that was when I pushed the infectious disease doctor to take a look at convalescent plasma, because I really didn’t have any other options available to me, but I was physically and laboratory wise continuing to get sicker.”

Just a few weeks prior, the Food and Drug Administration had made it easier for doctors to use convalescent plasma on COVID-19 patients. Plasma is the liquid, antibody-rich part of blood. It’s used all the time to treat people with immunodeficiencies, clotting disorders and burn or surgical patients.

The idea is that the antibodies contained in the plasma of someone who has recovered from COVID-19 will help patients who are sick with the virus.

In late March, Dr. Kyle Annen, medical director of the blood collection center at Children’s Hospital Colorado, collected the first COVID-19 plasma donation in the state. She worked quickly to get it to a patient at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital.

“We really just were able to put a rush on things when we felt that they were a priority. And this convalescent plasma collection was an example of that,” Annen said. “My team was just all hands on deck ready to go. Everyone recognized how significant this was and how important this was for this patient.”

At the same time, Dr. John Eisenach at Kaiser Permanente was working to get hospitals, researchers and blood banks together to create a statewide coalition.

“The United States leads the world in the number of cases of COVID-19 and the number of deaths: truly tragic and humbling statistics,” he said in an email. “However, we can also lead the world in the fight against both current and future viral pandemics by scientifically proving the success of a therapeutic strategy that is most immediately available after the introduction of a novel virus.”

The Colorado COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project Consortium was born. It includes Children’s Hospital Colorado, Colorado State University, Denver Health Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente Colorado Region, National Jewish Health, SCL Health, UCHealth, the University of Colorado Anschutz Campus, and the Vitalant Blood Center and Research Institute.

To meet the needs of hundreds of sick patients in Colorado, someone needed to collect hundreds of units of plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients and disburse those units to hospitals across the state — collaboration was vital to scale up collection and meet the demand.

“So number one, it does appear safe, number two, there are remarkable anecdotal reports of the likely effect of this plasma on patients,” Dumont said. “And of course there’s other anecdotes where it appears there was no effect. So that’s why I’m optimistic, but we’ve really got to have well-designed clinical trials.”

Convalescent plasma has been used since the 1890s, and there’s evidence it was used to treat those with the 1918 Spanish Flu. More recently, it was used in SARS and Ebola patients with some effectiveness. But testing plasma for COVID-19 patients began recently, and there are still a lot of questions to be answered.

“Well, what kind of unit did they receive? What were the antibody levels? Were their neutralizing antibodies against the virus in those units? You know, all sorts of questions come up about what makes a good unit or a not good unit. How well do we match it to a patient?” said Dr. Rebecca Boxer, the director for clinical trials at the Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Research. “A patient who’s very sick, are they going to respond to convalescent plasma the same way as a patient who’s not yet that sick?”

There may be a time in the illness when the plasma has the most benefit for a patient. When the FDA expanded access to plasma and released guidance, they advised doctors use plasma in patients with ”serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections.”

Ciarallo didn’t quite fit the definition, but he was approved to receive the treatment anyways. Another man, Scott Kaplan, received plasma after he was ventilated. He showed some signs of improvement, but ultimately died.

Dr. David Beckham at University of Colorado Hospital has started a clinical trial that compares patients treated with plasma to a database of patients who did not receive the plasma nor participated in other clinical trials. So far, he and his team have enrolled 82 patients.

“My hope is that we’ll get some information and data from this and it’ll help lead to more targeted therapeutic approaches and preventative approaches in the future,” Beckham said.

Nationwide, more than 16,000 patients have been treated with plasma at hundreds of hospitals. The FDA created a national program with the Mayo Clinic and the American Red Cross, and funding from the federal government’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. The Project launched a website for patients, healthcare providers and potential donors.

Labor and delivery nurse Julie Christen, who recovered from COVD-19 in March, donates plasma for the fourth time at the UCHealth Garth Englund Blood Center in Fort Collins. Equipment pulls blood from her arm and then a centrifuge separates the plasma, which appears yellowish in collection bags.

In Colorado, nearly 1,000 people have been treated. The Consortium was the first regional collaboration of its kind in the U.S. and the first to collect and deliver COVID-19 convalescent plasma to critically ill patients, according to the Consortium.

While Vitalant and hospitals have been able to recruit donors and collect enough plasma to treat patients in Colorado and even send some units to other states in need, Dumont is planning for a second wave of the pandemic, which could be worse than the first.

“On my worry list, as I shift from one list to another, is really what’s going on in the fall and the winter,” Dumont said. “Because if things get really rough even though we’re collecting a lot of plasma, are we going to have enough to be able to, to support people? Cause I don’t want to see us back in a February, March situation. It would be a shame.”

Twelve hours after Ciarallo requested the treatment, he was sitting in a chair watching more news on the TV as the plasma was pumped into his arm.

“Within about two hours, I noticed that I wasn’t warm anymore,” he said. “My heart wasn’t beating out of my chest, within two hours I had an appetite. I got up, went to the bathroom, I stopped coughing up pink frothy stuff.”

The next day, he was up and moving around easier than he had before. His colleagues brought him Chick-fil-A for lunch, and then his doctors told him it was time to go home.

“So I packed up my stuff, called my wife,” he said. “The most amazing thing was I physically walked to the elevator and walked downstairs and walked out the front door of a hospital and sat there on a bench and waited for my wife.”

Ciarallo tried to donate plasma to help patients like himself, but he can’t donate for one year after receiving a transfusion. In the meantime, he’ll continue to do his part by taking care of patients and remembering what it was like for him.

Results from clinical trials investigating convalescent plasma across the country will be published over the coming weeks and months. Until then, doctors in Colorado plan to continue treating COVID-19 patients while waiting for other drugs or vaccines to be developed.

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COVID-19 outbreak at downtown Durango construction site http://www.pagosasun.com/covid-19-outbreak-at-downtown-durango-construction-site/ Thu, 04 Jun 2020 14:54:28 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=204938 By San Juan Basin Public Health

San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) has identified a COVID-19 outbreak in a downtown Durango construction site.
An outbreak is defined as two or more cases at a location with onset within a 14-day period. Five people associated with the worksite have tested positive for COVID-19 as of June 2; only one of these individuals is a resident of La Plata County.
SJBPH took immediate action once notified of the first case at this facility to limit further spread of disease by contacting worksite representatives, providing them with infection control guidance, and referring employees and contractors to free COVID-19 testing sites.
Through case investigation and contact tracing, SJBPH has already identified people in and out of southwest Colorado who are believed to have had close contact with people who tested positive. To keep the community safe, SJBPH will continue to identify additional close contacts so that SJBPH staff can provide appropriate prevention and self-quarantine guidance to anyone who is believed to have been exposed to this outbreak. By following up on every positive COVID-19 diagnostic test in Archuleta and La Plata counties, SJBPH has successfully kept case counts in the two counties among the lowest in Colorado, per capita.
To protect the privacy of the individuals affected by this outbreak, identifying information and medical information will not be released to the public.
SJBPH continues to stress that the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are:

  • staying at home,
  • washing your hands frequently,
  • practicing physical distancing (at least 6 feet away from another person), and
  • wearing a cloth (non-medical) mask to cover your nose and mouth when in public.

 

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Colorado moves into new phase of reopening: Testing expanded locally http://www.pagosasun.com/colorado-moves-into-new-phase-of-reopening-testing-expanded-locally/ Thu, 04 Jun 2020 10:57:13 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=204852 By Randi Pierce
Staff Writer

On June 1, the state announced the next phase of reopenings under a plan called Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors, which is in effect until July 1.

“Colorado has millions of acres of accessible federal land, municipal parks, state parks, state and county open space, and other accessible areas that allow for stronger social distancing in our great outdoors. Coloradans should Stay at Home or in the great outdoors away from others as much as possible and continue to limit social interactions, remain at least 6 feet from others not in their household, and wear non-medical facial coverings in public,” the executive order for the new phase reads.

Guidance issued under Safer at Home is still in effect unless updated by this executive order or under CDPHE, a state press release notes.

“Our state has some of the most beautiful natural open spaces in the world and we want Coloradans to enjoy our vast, great outdoors. While we are all still safer at home, we are also able to practice greater social distancing in our great outdoors than in confined indoor spaces,” Gov. Jared Polis said. “It may feel like we are getting back to normal, but the virus is still here and it could surge back the moment we let our guard down. We are still far from normal. Coloradans have to remain diligent and must continue staying home or in the great outdoors away from others as much as possible, wearing masks when we leave the house and washing our hands. Over these next few weeks, each and every one of us has a responsibility to protect ourselves and others, especially as we begin venturing out onto our trails and open space.”

In accordance with Polis’ executive order, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) amended and extended the Safer at Home public health order until July 1. 

A press release from the state notes that all individuals currently living within Colorado are encouraged to stay at home or in the vast, great outdoors and avoid unnecessary interactions whenever possible to reduce the spread of disease.

The executive order allows additional businesses to open and activities to resume with abundant precautions, including physical distancing requirements. 

In his press conference Tuesday, Polis also announced that playgrounds and swimming pools will be allowed to open, with Town Manager Andrea Phillips reporting to The SUN that playgrounds will be able to open Thursday, June 4, per information released by the state.

Polis suggested, “We’re in this for the long haul” and added that there is need to find a “safe and sustainable way to live with COVID-19 in our lives.”

He also outlined four “pillars for success” moving into the new phase:

• Stay safe at home when possible.

• High-risk Coloradans, those above 65 or with underlying health conditions, should stay safe at home or in the outdoors.

• Wear a face covering in public.

• Using testing and contact tracing to help limit the spread.

He also announced additional help across the state with contact tracing, including that 350 VISTA summer associates will be hosted by the Community Resource Center in Denver and Conservation Legacy in Durango, both existing AmeriCorps VISTA projects.

Additional guidelines released

The CDPHE also released guidance this week for short-term rentals, allowing them to reopen on June 1, and updated guidance for personal services and child care.

Guidance documents are available at https://covid19.colorado.gov/.

The state also released draft guidance on houses of worship, outdoor recreation, personal recreation, and updates to the child care and personal services guidances in order to obtain public comment. Final versions of the guidance documents are expected to be released today.

Regional case counts

As of 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Archuleta County was reported as still having eight confirmed cases, with La Plata County having 82 cases with one death among cases, Conejos having two, Rio Grande logging 37, Mineral having two and Hinsdale tallying three.

Neighboring and near Archuleta County to the south, Rio Arriba County listed 59 cases and one death, and San Juan County, N.M., listed 1,813 cases and 24 deaths as of Tuesday afternoon.

The Jicarilla Apache Nation, which largely falls within Rio Arriba County, had announced nine cases as of Tuesday afternoon.

Increased local testing
opportunities

Polis continued to urge anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms to not go to work or hang out with others, but to go get tested.

Testing capacity within Archuleta County increased this week following a pair of announcements by San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH), including a drive-through testing site in Pagosa Springs and prioritized testing for businesses and facilities with high-contact interactions with customers or clients.

Axis Health System and SJBPH are partnering to provide drive-through COVID-19 testing at the Archuleta Integrated Healthcare clinic, which is located at 52 Village Drive. 

Drive-through community testing will be available on Tuesdays from noon to 4:30 p.m. by appointment only. 

Because this will be a drive-through testing site, appointments are required to manage traffic concerns and distancing requirements. 

Call Archuleta Integrated Healthcare at 264-2104 to make an appointment. 

Quick facts about this community testing effort:

• No referrals or doctors’ orders are needed.

• Testing is open to all members of the community.

• There is no fee for testing from June 2 through Aug. 25.

SJBPH also announced this week that the agency is offering prioritized COVID-19 PCR diagnostic testing (active virus testing) for businesses and facilities with high-contact interactions with customers or clients. 

“CDPHE recently issued guidance clearing the way for COVID-19 testing of asymptomatic employees in support of ongoing worksite testing. Previously, testing had been largely limited to those showing symptoms,” a SJBPH press release states. “Up to 40 percent of COVID-19 transmission occurs prior to the onset of symptoms and one-third of all individuals testing positive for the virus are asymptomatic. Worksite testing is an important tool for early identification and quarantine of infected persons as worksites are often hubs of transmission due to close and extended contact between employees.”

Both public and private insurance cover the cost of COVID-19 testing and SJBPH has alternative testing options available for those without health insurance.

By participating in SJBPH’s Worksite Testing Program, the agency notes, local businesses are committing to the health of their workforce and customers and to a healthier community. 

“Diagnostic testing is the cornerstone to controlling the spread of the virus in our communities and SJBPH is pleased to support businesses in their efforts to keep employees and customers safe,” the press release states.

To find out more about SJBPH’s Worksite Testing program, contact Tracie Holcomb at tholcomb@sjbpublichealth.org.

Testing also continues to be available locally through Pagosa Springs Medical Center and Pagosa Medical Group.

 

 

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PSMC estimates losing nearly $2 million in revenue http://www.pagosasun.com/psmc-estimates-losing-nearly-2-million-in-revenue/ Thu, 04 Jun 2020 10:55:51 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=204848 By Randi Pierce
Staff Writer

Pagosa Springs Medical Center (PSMC) lost an estimated $775,000 in revenue in March and an estimated $1.2 million in April, Finance Director Chelle Keplinger told the Upper San Juan Health Service District Board of Directors on May 26.

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.

 

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June 3 COVID-19 case summary http://www.pagosasun.com/june-3-covid-19-case-summary/ Thu, 04 Jun 2020 02:59:36 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=204915



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