Public Health Update: December 15, 2020


Many people have questions about COVID-19 vaccinations. Vaccines must go through a detailed scientific evaluation before they can be submitted to the FDA for approval. The vaccines are rigorously checked for safety and efficacy before being approved for use. The first vaccines going through this process, produced by Pfizer and Moderna, have been determined to have better than a 94% efficacy, meaning they are very effective in protecting against infection from the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. We will be sharing more information about the safety and efficacy of the vaccines over the coming days and weeks. 


The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has launched a vaccine information page that may be a great resource for many of your vaccine questions.


Limited quantities of COVID-19 vaccine will begin to arrive in the San Luis Valley this week and next week. We anticipate vaccine supply to continue to be limited at first, so initial vaccine administration efforts will be tightly focused on frontline healthcare workers, residents of long-term care facilities and responders. It will be a few months before the vaccine is expected to be widely available. Once there is more broad availability, public health will be communicating widely on how vaccine distribution will be prioritized and where it will be available.


Because we are continually learning about this virus, prioritization phases may change as more information becomes available about COVID-19 disease, COVID-19 vaccination or new federal guidance is issued. 


This year it has been more challenging than ever to sort out facts from disinformation. Make sure the information you are using and sharing comes from the best sources possible. Stop and think before you share information. The Department of Homeland Security has put together some quick and easy tips at


Upcoming community testing events: 

For all testing events listed, appointments are required. Wear a mask, and please do not eat, drink for 20 minutes prior to testing.

-  Wednesday, 12/16/2020, 8:30 am - noon at Moffat School. Call 719-745-0500 for appointment. 

- Wednesday, 12/16/2020, 8:30 am - 1:00 pm at Saguache County Public Health at 220 S Worth St in Center, back entrance. Call 719-745-0500 for appointment. 

- Monday, 12/21/2020, 9:00 am - 1:00 pm at Crestone Fire Station. Call 719-745-0500 for appointment. 

- Monday, 12/21/2020, 8:30 am - noon at Saguache County Road and Bridge in Saguache. Call 719-745-0500 for appointment. 


The SLV currently has 308 known active COVID-19 cases. 

Alamosa County- 178

Conejos County - 51

Costilla County - 20 

Mineral County - 0 

Rio Grande County - 50

Saguache County - 9 

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