Local COVID-19 Information

Check out the Costilla County Public Health Agency Facebook page for the most accurate and updated local information about the COVID-19 virus.

Continue to find the most current information on the COVID-19 virus in the San Luis Valley at www.facebook.com/slvemergency and the www.slvemergency.org website. 

General COVID information: CO HELP line 1-877-462-2911 (English and Spanish) .

Colorado updates and guidance go to covid19.colorado.gov

 

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A MESSAGE TO SEASONAL HOMEOWNERS

As you begin to plan your seasonal stay in beautiful Costilla County, we would like for you to keep the following in mind during these tough times. While Costilla County is working to weather the coronavirus (COVID-19) health crisis, we are experiencing some of the complications of living in a rural area.

These complications include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Resources: Our local health care system, Costilla County EMS and Costilla County Sheriff are not equipped to handle cases of the coronavirus that could arrive with increased population.
  • Grocery stores: Please be aware grocery stores in the San Luis Valley, and especially Costilla County have limited quantities of stock and availability.
  • Healthcare: Valley Wide Health Services and SLV Health are extremely limited in their capacity to care for those affected by COVID-19. SLV Health hospitals have very limited testing resources. Hospital beds and ICU capabilities throughout the SLV are very limited. An influx of population will potentially put added pressure on nearby regional hospitals that will be taxed by other areas too.
  • Altitude: Costilla County's high altitude is not well suited for a respiratory illness such as COVID-19.
  • Quarantine: Costilla County is requesting you to self-quarantine in your home for 14 days upon returning to our County for the prevention of spread of coronavirus {COVID-19).
  • Colorado Governor Polis has also asked that we all wear a face covering or a mask when venturing out into the public (Stores, businesses, etc.)
  • Reminder - Long-Term Camping in a Recreational Vehicle is Restricted.  Use of a recreational vehicle or other camping shelter for longer than a total of 14 days during any consecutive three months on the same parcel shall require an RV Occupancy Permit, which requires RV hook-up to septic and active construction on a home.  The permit may be obtained from the Planning Department.

For the most recent information on the Standing Public Health Order for Costilla County, which among other items, restricts access to 4 reservoirs in the county and prohibits gatherings of more than 10 people, please see www .slvemergency.org/ slv-co vid-19.

Vivian Gallegos, Director

Costilla County Public Health Agency

 

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Public Health Recommendation: Cover Your Face

The Costilla County Public Health Agency is recommending covering one’s nose and mouth when leaving the home for essential travel to the grocery store, doctor, or pharmacy. Safely cover your face with a bandana or homemade, cotton face covering, reserving hospital grade masks for health care workers and those who are sick.

Studies indicate there is no reason to not use a face covering as a precaution and wearing something over your nose and mouth can provide an additional layer of protection for those who must go out. Many aren’t aware they are spreading COVID-19 as they carry it without having symptoms, or their symptoms are mild.

The spread of the virus occurs primarily through droplets from an infected individual, which fabrics can filter. A face covering helps lessen the risk for a healthy individual to breathe in droplets as well as lessens spread from one who may not realize they’re sick. When face coverings are combined with frequent hand washing, they help reduce the transmission of infections.

Wearing face coverings also serves as a strong message to others that these are not normal times, and that we all need to change our behaviors to stop a devastating pandemic. As more residents start wearing face coverings, this action may be regarded as an act of solidarity, showing that all residents are on board with the responsible steps needed to reduce the spread of the virus.

Face coverings are also a good way to remember not to touch your face. Wearing a face covering will deny you access to your face and make you conscious of how often you are tempted to touch your nose & mouth.

Costilla County Public Health continues to stress that staying at home and physical distancing (at least 6 feet away from another person) are the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

How to safely adhere a face covering

  • Tie long hair back.
  • Wash your hands well.
  • Secure the face covering over your nose and mouth.
  • DO NOT touch your face or the face covering. If you do, sanitize your hands thoroughly.
  • Leave the covering on until you can safely remove it.
  • Remove your face covering immediately if it’s become wet or if you feel you’ve been in contact with someone who is sick.

How to safely remove a face covering.

  • Wash your hands.
  • Grab the face covering by the area that goes over your ears.
  • Take the covering off, keeping the outside of it away from your face, and place directly in the washing machine or a site where you will appropriately sanitize.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

For the most up to date information, visit https://www.slvemergency.org/

 

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If you have questions, use the SLV COVID-19 information hotline (719-480-8719). 

Questions around symptoms and testing can be directed to the local nurse hotlines: 

SLV Health nurse Line (719-589-2511 ext. 9).

Valley-Wide Health Systems nurse line (719-589-3658, ext 9) or

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. 

 

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Isolation is separating someone who is sick from those who are not sick. It is routinely done in hospitals, and at this time isolation for COVID-19 is ideally done at home when experiencing mild symptoms. Isolation includes those who have symptoms of COVID-19, those who have a positive COVID-19 test, and for those who might have COVID-19. Symptoms, especially early on, may be mild and feel like a common cold. In isolation, you should stay away from others until you have had no fever for at least 72 hours without using medication that reduces fevers, other symptoms have improved, and at least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared. While in isolation, stay home except to get medical care, do not go to work or any public areas. While at home, stay in a separate room from your family and use a separate bathroom if possible. If you need to seek medical care, contact your healthcare provider first or the nurse line for directions. Symptoms management includes plenty of rest, increased fluids, pain and fever-reducing medications, etc. If you need to seek medical care, contact your healthcare provider first or the nurse line for directions.

 

Quarantine. What’s the difference between it and isolation? Quarantine is used when someone may have had contact with someone who is sick, with or without a positive test result. This can include household members or a close contact that has symptoms of COVID-19, had a positive test, or are getting ill and think they might have COVID-19. As with isolation, follow the same guidelines staying home unless you need to seek medical care. Quarantine is for 14 days, if you do get sick, you need to begin following the isolation guidelines.

 

To slow the spread of COVID-19 we continue to strongly recommend that everyone continue practicing physical distancing and staying home unless absolutely necessary. When you do leave your home, whether to visit the grocery store or pick up take out from your favorite restaurant, maintain a distance of at least 6 feet between yourself and others. Comply with the directions from the governor and local counties to keep gatherings to less than 10 individuals.

 

Along with physical distancing, practice actions that protect others, washing your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your face, cover your coughs and sneezes, avoid sharing household items and clean “high touch” surfaces daily like doorknobs, countertops, light switches, etc.

 

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Costilla County Issues an Emergency Declaration - - a Local Disaster Emergency Declaration was executed, March 17, 2020.

 

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Costilla County Offices are undergoing restricted public access to buildings and services during this time.

The Costilla County Commissioners' Office is closed to the public.  Please call 719-672-3372 with any questions.  Staff is still working regular hours.

 

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Click here for a link to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention information page about the Coronovirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

For general questions about COVID-19, please call the Colorado Help Center at 1-877-462-2911.

 

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Who is at risk from COVID-19?

Certain people will have an increased risk of infection:

  • People who have traveled to areas where widespread community transmission is occurring.
  • People who had direct close contact with someone who as confirmed to have COVID-19.

Some people are at higher risk for getting sick from COVID-19.  That includes:

  • Older people (over age 60), especially those over 80 years.
  • People who have chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease or diabetes.
  • Older people with chronic medical conditions are at greatest risk

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