Updates – The Pagosa Springs SUN http://www.pagosasun.com The most trusted source for news and information about Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Mon, 23 Mar 2020 20:44:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.2 San Juan Basin Public Health issues ‘Stay at Home’ Advisory http://www.pagosasun.com/san-juan-basin-public-health-issues-stay-at-home-advisory/ Mon, 23 Mar 2020 20:28:05 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=199928 Through the advisory, SJBPH reaffirms statewide orders to slow the spread of COVID-19. In addition, SJBPH urges all residents to do their part by staying at home unless it is essential.




WHEREAS, there is significant consensus that COVID-19 resulted in a world-wide pandemic and local disaster emergency as evidenced by the following:

  • On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 a “public health emergency of international concern;”
  • On January 31, 2020, the United States Department of Health and Human Services declared the virus a public health emergency;
  • On February 26, 2020, the CEO of USJHSD activated USJHSD’s emergency operations plan for a pandemic;
  • On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 to be a global pandemic;
  • On March 11, 2020, the Governor of Colorado issued Executive Order D 2020-003 declaring Colorado a state of disaster emergency due to the presence of COVID-19 in Colorado;
  • On March 12, 2020, the CEO of USJHSD activated its Incident Command as part of its emergency operations plan to prepare and respond to the pandemic;
  • On March 13, 2020 the President of the United States issued a Proclamation that the “COVID-19 outbreak constitutes a national emergency;”
  • On March 16, 2020, the Executive Director of San Juan Basin Public Health, the public health district for Archuleta and La Plata counties, declared a local disaster emergency for its entire district for a period up to seven days, and on March 17, 2020 the Board of Public Health for the San Juan Basin Public Health consented to the continuation of the declaration of local disaster emergency for so long as is necessary to address the COVID-19 pandemic as determined by its Executive Director or Board;
  • On March 16, 2020, the County Administrator of La Plata County declared a local disaster emergency for a period of up to seven days and on March 17, 2020, the Board of County Commissioners adopted Resolution 2020-16 extended the local disaster emergency declaration until such time as the Board determines the disaster emergency has terminated through adoption of a resolution declaring such;
  • On March 16, 2020, the County Administrator of Archuleta County declared a local disaster emergency and on March 17, 2020, the Board of County Commissioners adopted Resolution 2020-95 extending the Declaration of a Local Disaster through April 21, 2020;
  • On March 16, 2020, the Interim City Manager of the City of Durango declared an emergency for a period of up to seven days and on March 17, 2020, the City Council ratified the emergency disaster declaration and continued until further action of the Council;
  • On March 16, 2020, the Mayor of the Town of Pagosa Springs declared a local disaster emergency for a period of up to seven days and on March 19, 2020, the Town Council consented to a continuation of the declaration of local disaster emergency;
  • During the week of March 16, 2020, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe ceased nonessential tribal governmental operations due to COVID-19 and on March 22, 2020 ordered the Southern Ute Indian Tribe to modify tribal government services and business operations effective March 23, 2020;
  • On March 19, 2020, the Board of Trustees of the Town of Ignacio adopted Resolution 05-2020 Declaring a State of Emergency for the Town of Ignacio.

WHEREAS, the virus that causes COVID-19 can easily be spread through person-to-person contact and the risk of transmission is higher when people are in close proximity; and

WHEREAS, as of March 22, 2020, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has confirmed 591 cases of COVID-19 within the State of Colorado and public health experts anticipate that, due to the contagiousness of the illness and the fact that numerous travelers from around the world visit the Health District, La Plata and Archuleta counties are at higher risk of COVID-19 spread; and

WHEREAS, in the absence of immunization or specific treatment, the Health Officer has determined that social distancing is the best tool currently available to slow the spread of COVID-19; and

WHEREAS, as of March 22, 2020, Colorado State Governor Jared Polis has issued the following public health and executive orders in order to slow the spread of COVID-19:

  • EXECUTIVE ORDER D 2020-004, Ordering Closure of Downhill Ski Resorts Due to the Presence of COVID-19 in the State of Colorado, issued on March 14, 2020;
  • EXECUTIVE ORDER D 2020-005, Directing State Parties and Secretary of State to Amend Rules Regarding In-Person Gatherings to all the 2020 Primary Election to Proceed without Interruption, in light of the Disaster Declaration set forth in Executive Order D 2020 003, issued on March 16, 2020;
  • EXECUTIVE ORDER D 2020-006, Amending Executive Order D 2020 004 Ordering Closure of Downhill Ski Areas Due to the Presence of COVID-19 in the State of Colorado, in Light of the Disaster Declaration Set Forth in Executive Order D 2020 003, issued on March 18, 2020;
  • EXECUTIVE ORDER D 2020-007, Ordering Suspension of Normal In-Person Instruction at All Public and Private Elementary and Secondary Schools in the State of Colorado Due to the Presence of COVID-19, issued March 18, 2020;
  • EXECUTIVE ORDER D 2020-008, Amending Executive Order D 2020 005 to Limit In-Person Contact Concerning Elections and the Secretary of State’s Operations, in light of the Disaster Declaration set forth in Executive Order D 2020 003, issued on March 18, 2020;
  • EXECUTIVE ORDER D 2020-009, Ordering the Temporary Cessation of All Elective and Non-Essential Surgeries and Procedures and Preserving Personal Protective Equipment and Ventilators in Colorado Due to the Presence of COVID-19, issued March 19, 2020;
  • EXECUTIVE ORDER D 2020-010, Ordering the Suspension of Statute to Extend the Income Tax Payment Deadlines Due to the COVID-19 Disaster Emergency, issued March 20, 2020;
  • EXECUTIVE ORDER D 2020-011, Ordering the Temporary Suspension of Certain Regulatory Statutes Due to the Presence of COVID-19, issued March 20, 2020;
  • EXECUTIVE ORDER D 2020-012, Limiting Evictions, Foreclosures, and Public Utility Disconnections and Expediting Unemployment Insurance Claim Processing to Provide Relief to Coloradans Affected by COVID-19, issued March 20, 2020;
  • EXECUTIVE ORDER D 2020-013, Ordering Colorado Employers to Reduce In-Person Workforce by Fifty Percent Due to the Presence of COVID-19 in the State, issued March 22, 2020.

WHEREAS, this STAY AT HOME ADVISORY may be amended as additional State Orders are issued.


  1. The Health Officer for San Juan Basin Public Health hereby reaffirms that there is a local public health disaster emergency within the Health District, that immediate and drastic measures are necessary to mitigate the imminent threat of widespread or severe damage, injury or loss of life or property resulting from the COVID-19 virus.
  2. San Juan Basin Public Health, as a political subdivision of the State of Colorado, charged with protecting public health within the Health District, endorses the Public Health and Executive Orders listed above and urges other political subdivisions within the Health District to take immediate action to comply with the Orders.
  3. The effect of this Advisory shall be to urge our community members to do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19 and STAY AT HOME to every extent possible – especially if you are among the high risk category, to limit non-essential activities of daily life, and to minimize and prevent social contact.  Those who exhibit symptoms must isolate themselves so as not to infect others.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this Advisory shall be effective upon the date and time given below and shall remain in effect until it is no longer necessary as deemed by the Health Officer.


Date: _3/23/2020_

By: _____Liane Jollon______
Liane Jollon, Executive Director and Health Officer


PSMC prepares to provide treatment plans to those with COVID-19 symptoms, reserves tests for critically ill http://www.pagosasun.com/psmc-prepares-to-provide-treatment-plans-to-those-with-covid-19-symptoms-reserves-tests-for-critically-ill/ Tue, 17 Mar 2020 00:24:07 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=199493 In light of the current nationwide and local shortages of coronavirus COVID-19 diagnostic testing kits, masks, and other protective equipment, the Colorado Hospital Association and San Juan Basin Public Health are recommending that hospital caregivers assume patients who present with COVID-19 symptoms have the disease, and treat them according to CDC guidelines.

Because of this recommendation, testing at Pagosa Springs Medical Center (PSMC) is being reserved for critically ill, hospitalized patients who have COVID-19 symptoms.  Those who have COVID-19 symptoms but do not require hospitalization will be treated according to the CDC-recommended protocol for persons who test positive for the disease.

“We are being proactive in preparing for a potential influx of patients who are seriously ill with coronavirus, and at the same time, ensuring our ability to continue caring for the many patients we normally see,” said Rhonda Webb, M.D., CEO of Pagosa Springs Medical Center.  “As a community, we can flatten the pandemic curve and keep each other safe by practicing social distancing and good hand hygiene. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, self-isolate and call your healthcare provider,” she added.

PSMC may expand testing when more tests and protective equipment become available.

COVID-19 symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.  Those who experience these symptoms should self-quarantine and call their healthcare provider for a treatment plan.

Town issues declaration of local emergency http://www.pagosasun.com/town-issues-declaration-of-local-emergency/ Mon, 16 Mar 2020 22:07:38 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=199491 In an effort to provide for public health and safety, the Town of Pagosa Springs has issued a declaration of local emergency.

“This follows similar declarations by the President, the Governor of Colorado, San Juan Basin Public Health (which covers La Plata and Archuleta Counties) and Archuleta County. La Plata County and the City of Durango have also issued declarations. This document allows for the Town to receive outside state and federal resources if needed, during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Mayor has authority to issue these per the Town Charter, which expire in 7 days unless extended by the Town Council. This will be on the agenda for Thursday’s meeting. Mayor Volger would like us to proceed as a Town with ‘reasonable and prudent’ decision-making, and he feels that this is in line with that path,” an email from Town Manager Andrea Phillips to the Pagosa Springs Town Council states.

The town council is slated to meet at 5 p.m. Thursday for its regular meeting, with Phillips explaining the room would be set up in a manner to align with social distancing.

“It should be noted that although there are no confirmed cases as of today in our county, the goal is to limit community spread and ‘flatten the (epidemiological) curve’ of the coronavirus due to limited local health resources,” Phillips’ email states.

Lady Pirates to face Delta in Thursday’s Great 8 http://www.pagosasun.com/lady-pirates-to-face-delta-in-thursdays-great-8/ Mon, 09 Mar 2020 16:37:19 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=198877

SUN photo/Randi Pierce


The No. 5 Pagosa Springs High School Lady Pirate basketball team advanced to this week’s Great 8 action at The University of Denver – Hamilton Gym, and will take on the No. 4 Delta Panthers at 8:45 a.m. Thursday.

Pagosa heads into the matchup with a 19-4 record, while Delta holds a 21-3 record.

For more on the Lady Pirates, the state tournament and the matchup, see Thursday’s issue of The SUN.

Pirate basketball team to host tournament play-in game Tuesday http://www.pagosasun.com/pirate-basketball-team-to-host-tournament-play-in-game-tuesday/ Mon, 24 Feb 2020 18:40:11 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=198066 To kick off the Intermountain League (IML) tournament, the No. 4-seeded Pagosa Springs High School Pirate basketball team will take on the No. 5-seeded Monte Vista Pirates at home tomorrow night, Tuesday, at 6 p.m. for a play-in game.

The winner of this game will travel to Monte Vista, the host of this year’s IML tournament, to take on the No. 1 overall seed, the Alamosa Mean Moose, on Thursday at a time to be determined.

On Feb. 29, the IML tournament championship game will be held at 7:30 p.m. The third-place game will take place that same day at 4:30 p.m.

Pagosa swept the regular season series with Monte Vista, earning wins of 64-45 on Jan. 24 and 53-38 on Feb. 8.

Pirate Cameron Lucero claims second state title http://www.pagosasun.com/pirate-cameron-lucero-claims-second-state-title/ Sun, 23 Feb 2020 04:19:33 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=198055 Pagosa Springs High School junior Cameron Lucero claimed his second state title at tonight’s state wrestling championship.

Lucero matched up against Jefferson’s Nick Gallegos in the championship and defeated him 2-0 with a first-period takedown.

Last year, Lucero won the state title for 3A’s 145-pound weight class.

Pagosa had several other grapplers place at the state tournament also.

At 120 pounds, Erik Wyman took third. At 138 pounds, Dylan Tressler also placed third. Brae Berdolt took third in the 145-pound category. At 220 pounds, Skyler Hill placed sixth.

For more on the tournament, see Thursday’s edition of The SUN.

Prescribed burns to continue tomorrow http://www.pagosasun.com/prescribed-burns-to-continue-tomorrow/ Sat, 14 Sep 2019 03:21:46 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=177859 According to Public Information Officer Linda Parker, both prescribed burns on the San Juan National Forest went very well today.

On the Pagosa Ranger District, ignitions were completed in four additional units on the Brockover Prescribed Fire, located in the Turkey Springs/Brockover Mesa area. Approximately 900 acres of this 1,500-acre unit are now completed. Additional ignitions are planned for tomorrow.

On the Columbine Ranger District, fire managers accomplished 200 acres of blackline on the Pargin Prescribed fire, east of Bayfield in the Pargin Mountain/Fosset Gulch area. Aerial ignitions are planned for tomorrow.

For additional information on these prescribed burns please visit InciWeb https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6288/.

Partial Riverwalk trail closures announced due to flooding http://www.pagosasun.com/partial-riverwalk-trail-closures-announced-due-to-flooding/ Mon, 10 Jun 2019 19:48:36 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=170367

The Town of Pagosa Springs is asking the public to avoid low sections of the Riverwalk trail due to minor flooding.

The trail at River Center Park (by the fishing ponds) and a section of the trail to the south of the 6th Street bridge are temporarily closed for public safety. With high water flows from the San Juan River in recent days, the town is asking the public to avoid those areas. Water, mud and debris has flowed over the trails in those sections.

The town will continue to monitor the weather and river reports and make adjustments as needed. The town wishes to thank the community for their awareness in these areas.

NORAD to conduct air defense exercise today http://www.pagosasun.com/norad-to-conduct-air-defense-exercise-today/ Tue, 04 Jun 2019 15:12:59 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=169481 North American Aerospace Defense Command will conduct air defense exercise flights along the Pacific coast and over the states of Colorado and Nebraska between 9:00 a.m. and noon Pacific today.

NORAD F-15s, F-16s, a United States Air Force C-17 and a Royal Canadian Air Force CP-140 will participate in the exercise and will fly no lower than 10,000 feet above ground level. The exercise flights should not affect the public.

To test responses, systems and equipment, NORAD routinely conducts exercises using a variety of scenarios, including airspace restriction violations, hijackings and responding to unknown aircraft. All NORAD exercises are carefully planned and closely controlled.

The defense of Canada and the U.S. is NORAD’s top priority. NORAD forces are on alert around the clock, every day. For more than 60 years, NORAD aircraft have identified and intercepted potential air threats to North America in the execution of the command’s aerospace warning and aerospace control missions; and maintain a watchful eye over our maritime approaches in the execution of its maritime warning mission.

Operation NOBLE EAGLE is the name given to the military response following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and applies to all air sovereignty and air defense missions in North America. NORAD is a bi-national command focused on the defense of both the U.S. and Canada, the response to potential aerospace threats does not distinguish between the two nations, and draws on forces from both countries.

Rotary withdraws from involvement in 4th of July Parade http://www.pagosasun.com/rotary-withdraws-from-involvement-in-4th-of-july-parade/ Thu, 30 May 2019 22:32:17 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=169294 This article has been updated to include information from Town Manager Andrea Phillips and the Pagosa Springs Town Council.

By Randi Pierce
Staff Writer

The Rotary Club of Pagosa Springs announced Thursday afternoon that it is withdrawing its involvement in the annual 4th of July Parade.

Rotary has been involved with the parade for over 30 years.

“After much consternation and consideration, the Rotary Board has decided to withdraw involvement, this year, in the 4th of July Parade,” an email statement from Parade Director JoAnn Laird to local public officials states.

But that doesn’t mean the parade is off the schedule for this summer, with Town Manager Andrea Phillips indicating that the Town of Pagosa Springs is looking into the logistics of taking over liability and hiring for traffic and crowd control, and the Pagosa Springs Town Council briefly discussing the matter at a Thursday evening work session.

The parade is set to be on the council’s Tuesday evening agenda, with that meeting slated to begin at 5 p.m. at Town Hall.

Rotary’s statement notes that, while the club wanted to continue the event, liability, safety and manpower have become issues.

“This decision was not made cavalierly, as the club wanted to continue this community service project that is not only the largest attended annual event in Archuleta County but a project that has been near and dear our heart for over thirty years,” the statement reads.

“We so appreciate everything that Rotary has done through the years,” Phillips said.

The statement describes that the parade has grown to 85-100 entries, with crowds and traffic increasing to a point that an outside firm is needed to barricade sidewalks and manage the crowds.

Phillips noted, “We’re kind of a victim of our own success,” with holding the parade on U.S. 160 complicating matters.

“The parade has grown to the point that it cannot be treated as a small town parade any longer,” the statement reads. “We rival any bigger city on the western slope. Durango, as an example, has had barricades for their parade and Snow Down for years.”

Phillips explained the town is looking into outsourcing traffic and crowd control, as well as possibly changing the route in future years to move it off the highway.

The statement commends Pagosa Springs Police Chief Bill Rockensock’s work on the parade each year before delving into the club’s liability issues.

The statement concludes by stating that if liability issues are relieved, the Rotarians will help with the parade in the future.

“Rotary knows there is no question that everyone wants the parade to continue and the financial and personal harm this can do to the community,” it reads. “We just can’t be liable for any risk the day of the parade. This has been discussed for months. If released of liability, the club would be thrilled to volunteer all the manpower it takes leading up to the parade five weeks before-hand, until the thank you to the sponsors, winners, volunteers and public are announced the week following the parade. We want this event to continue and are happy to join forces with you next year. Just turn us loose, without liability or day-of manpower for traffic and crowd control.”

For more information, see next week’s issue of The SUN.