Wednesday coronavirus update

SAN LUIS VALLEY —  Saguache County confirmed their first COVID-19 related fatality today, bringing the total deaths in the SLV to three. Four more cases have been confirmed positive, bringing the total number for the SLV to 110. County case counts and other San Luis Valley data are updated weekdays at

In Emergency Management, one of the main focuses is Recovery, what to do after the crisis is over. When there’s a fire, flood, or other natural disaster, there is usually a clear beginning, middle, and end. Public Health emergencies are a different kind of disaster in that they are often long-term. The Governor says, “This isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon,” and like a marathon, we need to pace ourselves. That is why local governments are seeking a balanced, gradual approach to reopening. While it seems to many that the major crisis is ramping down or even over, Public Health activity is starting to ramp up as response efforts begin to bring results. Our focus at this point needs to be on stability, rather than recovery.

Since May is Mental Health Awareness month, it is a good time to acknowledge that everyone processes difficulties in their own away. This pandemic hasn’t been easy on anyone. We haven’t been able to gather and mingle freely as we are accustomed to doing. For some, it has been devastating, whether by loss of a loved one, loss of livelihood, or loss of sleep due to anxiety. Public officials have laid awake night after night trying to make good decisions in a situation where there are no easy alternatives. We are used to thinking of disasters as things that come and go quickly, like a fire or an earthquake. This disaster is different. It came, and it’s staying around for a good long while. We don’t exactly know yet how it will go. It’s been rough, and that is the hard truth.

We ask you, our community, to remember that there are people suffering on every side of this. Our job in Public Health is to promote the best and most current scientifically supported ways we know to keep our community healthy. Some will agree, others will not. Personal responsibility is the key, and our hope is that our collective choices will put our valley on a solid path to health and economic recovery and keep it there. Let’s be respectful and kind.

If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, please call 719-589-3671, or the crisis hotline 1 (844) 493-TALK (8255). After business hours, please call 911 or the crisis hotline 1 (844) 493-TALK (8255) or text TALK to 38255.

Individuals with COVID symptoms are encouraged to call one of the nurse-lines below to start the screening process.

• Rio Grande Hospital 719-657-4990

• SLV Health Nurse Line 719-589-2511 ext. 9

• Valley-Wide Health Systems 719-589-3658 ext. 9

SLV COVID general questions 719-480-8719. You may also email your questions to [email protected]