Costilla County Public Health Update: November 25, 2020

As we head into the holiday weekend, we wish you a peaceful and healthful Thanksgiving. Unless there are unanticipated developments, we will issue our next update on Monday, November 30th. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions this week. 


What is the latest on vaccines?

Federal and state officials are testing plans to get the vaccine to the states. At the county level, public health and healthcare partners are refining plans for how to receive, store, and dispense the small number of vaccine doses we expect to receive sometime in December. The first phase of vaccines will be offered to healthcare workers involved in direct patient care. As vaccines become more available in 2021, the vaccine will be made available to more people in phases.


Should we live in fear of COVID-19? 

No, we don’t want anyone to live in fear. However, we do want everyone to understand the risks and to make their decisions accordingly. The SARS-CoV-2 virus is exceptionally good at doing what viruses do, which is spreading, replicating itself, and then spreading some more. In the process, it causes severe illness and even death in some people. Conejos County reported another COVID-related death this week, bringing our total for the region to 22. Our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones affected by this untimely death through COVID-19. Our hospital system is being stressed more now than it has since the pandemic began. If you or a loved one needs medical care, we want to make sure care is available. 


Why have cases gone up so high? 

Viruses tend to thrive in cool, dry conditions where people are spending time together indoors, so this time of year gives the virus many opportunities to spread. Every face-to-face interaction between people represents a possible opportunity from the viewpoint of the virus. It is everyone's responsibility to interrupt it as much as possible. We do that by wearing a mask, keeping our distance, and avoiding situations that give the virus extra opportunities to spread. 


Why should I follow the guidelines? 

This is a battle between the community and the virus. We  need you!! Your friends, your family, your co-workers, your employees, your boss - they all need you! This has been so hard for so many. Please help us make this restrictive time as brief as we possibly can. We must and can beat the virus at its game, or at least hold a good defense until a widely available vaccine can help us win.


The SLV currently has 225 known active COVID-19 cases. 

Alamosa County- 121 - Level Red

Conejos County - 25 - Level Orange

Costilla County - 21 - Level Orange

Mineral County - 11 - Level Orange

Rio Grande County - 30 - Moving to Orange 11/27/2020, 5pm

Saguache County - 17 - Level Yellow

More information about capacity restrictions at each level, as well as other San Luis Valley COVID information, can be found at website link


To pursue testing for COVID-19 through our regular testing providers, or for medical questions, call;

  • Rio Grande Hospital 719-657-4990

  • SLVHealth Respiratory Clinic 719-589-3000 ext. 9 

  • Valley-Wide Health Systems 719-589-3658 ext. 4 (M-F), 719-589-2562 (Sa/Su)


The Colorado Spirit Crisis Counseling Program (CCP) offers community-based crisis counseling, help with disaster coping strategies, education, and more. Get information at or call 719-587-5673. 


For general (non-medical) SLV COVID-19 related questions:, 719-480-8719