This morning, March 23, Linda Smith, Coordinator with the San Luis Valley Public Health Partnership announced the first positive COVID-19 case for the San Luis Valley.
In a press release distributed to media outlets Monday morning, Smith reported that Rio Grande County Public Health was notified by Rio Grande County Hospital that “we do have two (2) positive cases of COVID-19 in Rio Grande County.” The cases are currently a 20-year-old female and a 50-year-old male. They are both currently isolating at home.
This is a reminder that the virus is in the San Luis Valley community so remember to keep observing social distancing, quarantine at home if you think you may have been exposed, and isolate yourself at home if you have any symptoms.
While preparation for COVID-19 continued throughout the San Luis Valley over the weekend, Colorado Health officials did receive the updated status for Rio Grande County this morning and immediately posted the results. Residents are being asked to continue staying at home, practicing social distancing when you must go out, and when possible, working from home instead of from your office.
Local healthcare officials remind residents that they aren’t alone in the feeling that life looks different than normal this week. Many schools will transition to online options this week, small business employees and owners are learning to navigate unexpected closures, restaurants have transitioned to exclusively take out orders, and so many other changes.
“Each and everyone in our community is impacted and we can support each other, while still staying home, by simply picking up the phone and calling or video calling a friend, family member or checking on a neighbor,: stated Linette Schmidt with the South Fork Fire District in teh San Luis Valley. ” We are San Luis Valley Strong, and we will come through this time stronger than ever.”
When you are in isolation or on quarantine, it is important that you relay this information to first responders when calling for help. While first responders continue to do their jobs, they need your help to keep them safe during the outbreak of COVID-19. Whether you are calling to get police assistance, or because your symptoms have worsened and you need an ambulance, it’s important to tell the dispatcher that you or anyone in your home is in isolation or quarantine. Please stay on the line with the dispatcher, answering their questions until they advise you that it’s ok to hang up.
Ambulance services in the SLV area have been preparing for the response to COVID-19, taking steps to ensure that the crews limit possible exposure to COVID-19 while caring for the community. Those steps include wearing additional Personal Protective Equipment when responding to a patient that may be ill, asking some patients to wear a mask during evaluation and transport, implementing additional decontamination protocols for the ambulance and the equipment, and in some cases, sealing off some cabinets inside the ambulance to reduce the risk of contamination of other equipment that is not being used. The ambulance crews will work closely with hospital staff when caring for and transporting a patient who could possibly be sick from the COVID-19 virus.
Use the SLV information hotline (719-480-8719) if you have questions. Questions around symptoms and testing can be directed to the nurse hotlines: SLV Health Nurse Line @ 719-589-2511 ext. 9. and Rio Grande Hospital Nurse line @ 719-657-4990. They will assess your condition over the phone and give you instructions on what to do next.
For accurate local information, please check
- Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/slvemergency.
- CO HELP line 1-877-462-2911 (English and Spanish)
- Colorado updates and guidance.