County reopens emergency operations center to support COVID-19 response
La Plata County reopened its Emergency Operations Center in a virtual format Monday in response to a rising incidence of new COVID-19 cases in the county. The primary initial goal for the Emergency Operations Center is to coordinate among community partners for critical response to the increase in cases, with specific focus on expanding diagnostic testing capacity so as to best position La Plata County to reduce spread of the disease.
Over the past two weeks, there has been an increase in both new cases and in the positivity rate for COVID-19 diagnostic testing in La Plata County. This trend is in alignment with statewide and national data indicating a third wave of infections has begun. The Emergency Operations Center allows for coordinated response to this trend in a number of additional ways, including outreach, education and enforcement of public health orders, implementing medical surge plans if necessary, and providing non-congregate sheltering for individuals unable to safely quarantine at home. These initial priorities can shift as needed depending on infection and hospitalization data in the coming weeks.
Southwest Colorado is at a critical moment for containing COVID-19. The choices that the community makes in the next two weeks will determine whether the region loses control of virus spread and exceeds the capacity of the health care system. La Plata County is approaching case levels that could trigger further reductions in gathering sizes and operating capacity at businesses.
La Plata County is currently under the Safer at Home Level 2 (yellow) protocols outlined by Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The protocols for each level on CDPHE’s “dial” are available at https://covid19.colorado.gov/data/covid-19-dial. To see the
latest on La Plata County’s COVID-19 metrics, visit https://covid19.colorado.gov/data/covid-19-dial/covid-19-dial-dashboard.
For more information on testing availability, COVID-19 precautions and public health orders, please visit San Juan Basin Public Health’s COVID-19 resource page at https://sjbpublichealth.org/coronavirus/.