Public Health Update: December 7, 2020

SAN LUIS VALLEY - Local Public Health contact tracing and case investigations have shown that disregard of mild symptoms is contributing to the high number of cases in our community. 


A common scenario might look something like this: We’ll call the first person Joe. Joe wakes up with a little cough and says, “I always have a cold this time of year, this is nothing. This is just the normal change in the weather. I will be fine”; and he takes some cold medicine and goes to work. Joe and his coworkers are good about wearing masks most of the time, except for breaks, or when there are no customers. The boss is pretty lenient if someone’s mask happens to slip down below their nose. Joe works side-by-side with Jenny. The next day, Joe’s symptoms start to get worse and he decides to stay home. He tests positive for COVID-19 four days later. 


Jenny lives at home with her family, including  her two siblings, her mother, who is diabetic, and her father, who has a heart condition. Jenny feels just fine and has no idea she is carrying the virus. About 10 days after Jenny was exposed to the virus at work, her brother John goes to school with a headache. The same day, John and Jenny’s mother comes home from work early because she is not feeling well. Their retired father isn’t feeling well either. 


A few days later John and his parents all test positive for COVID-19. John’s cohort at school must quarantine. John and Jenny’s father ends up with a long hospital stay. The following week their mother’s small business has to close temporarily because two of her four employees have come down with COVID-19, and the others must quarantine. 


Scenarios like this are repeating over and over in the San Luis Valley. At last report, State experts estimated that one out of every 40 people in Colorado is contagious with the virus, not including those who may have been exposed at Thanksgiving gatherings. Please, do your best to interrupt the spread of the virus. Wear a mask, practice social/physical distancing, avoid gatherings, and stay at home if you have any symptoms at all. 


Flu season is not yet in full swing this year. Although influenza and COVID-19 share some symptoms, there are important differences between the two illnesses, including how easily they spread. Please make sure to get your flu shot if you haven’t yet. Learn more symptoms and other similarities and differences at


Upcoming community testing events: 

For all testing events: Wear a mask, and please do not eat, drink, smoke, or use toothpaste or mouthwash for 30 minutes prior to testing. Advance registration is recommended but not required. 


The SLV currently has 292 known active COVID-19 cases. 

Alamosa County- 175

Conejos County - 49

Costilla County - 4 

Mineral County - 1 

Rio Grande County - 54

Saguache County - 10 

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



Support local businesses. Get more information at 


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