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Updates on COVID19 in the Durango Community

March 30, 2020: Gov. Polis Provides Update on State Response to COVID-19

DENVER, Colo.: Gov. Jared Polis provided an update on Colorado’s response to COVID-19 as well as information on current cases in Colorado, including the number of cases, hospitalizations, and fatalities. Gov. Polis was also joined by Dr. Marc Moss, head of pulmonology at the University of Colorado - Anschutz Medical Campus and a doctor at UC Health who came to represent the thousands of medical professionals working on the front lines in Colorado. 

While the virus is still spreading rapidly in Colorado, our community will start to see the effects of the recent steps we’ve taken in the coming days and weeks. In the near-term, it is crucial that we all stay home whenever possible to avoid jeopardizing the health of their friends, family, and community,” said Governor Jared Polis. “During this challenging time, though we must be distant physically from one another for our health, I encourage Coloradans to remain close to our loved ones through different forms of communication like telephone and video chat and through acts of kindness.”

“As a pulmonary specialist, I have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re seeing this virus significantly impact Coloradans of all ages and we are now caring for an unprecedented number of critically ill patients,” said Dr. Marc Moss. “Our health care system is preparing for the worst and hoping for the best. We continue working alongside our fellow health care workers to ensure we are doing everything we can to care for our patients.”

The Governor continued to urge Coloradans to stay home. Gov. Polis discussed the supplies that the state Colorado has requested from the federal government, what has been distributed thus far and what the remaining need it currently has and what is needed for Colorado to effectively slow the spread of the virus and protect the health and safety of Coloradans. 

The Governor also discussed state traffic data as an important proxy to demonstrate the impact of recent social distancing and stay-at-home measures. Colorado has seen a 60% reduction of cars on the road over the last four weeks. This data was collected across the state on interstates, U.S. and state highways, and other roads from a network of more than 50 automatic traffic recorders (ATRs). These ATRs provide traffic count data that can be analyzed hourly, daily, and weekly and used to compare current traffic levels to baseline levels. Traffic levels can show changes in behavior, whether that’s a reduction in weekday work commuting, and changes in weekend driving that may be associated with errands or recreation. Between March 1-25, the average daily volume of vehicles is decreasing by 400 cars per day. View the presentation here

On Saturday, March 28, the federal government approved a Major Disaster Declaration request for Colorado, unlocking access to more federal resources for the state. This designation, combined with the legislation passed by Congress and signed by the President, is welcome relief on both the emergency management front and the economic front. The Governor has held daily calls with Colorado’s federal delegation 

On Sunday, March 22, Gov. Polis announced the creation of the Innovation Response Team (IRT). Today he announced the appointment of Sarah Tuneberg, an entrepreneur and emergency manager with more than a decade of public health and emergency management experience, as the Director of the IRT. The IRT is building a mass testing program for the COVID-19 virus, creating a suite of services for citizens under isolation or quarantine, developing mobile and other technologies to help track the spread of the virus and support infected citizens, and developing locally-sourced alternatives for constrained critical medical supplies.

Watch today’s press conference here


March 30, 2020: State health department provides update on statewide COVID-19 testing strategy

DENVER, Colo.: Testing for COVID-19 continues to be a top priority for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). The Colorado Unified Coordination Group (UCG)  is currently supporting strategic, targeted community testing for health care workers and first responders, and are working to increase the state’s testing capabilities.

There are two primary routes to testing in Colorado today:

  1. Hospital staff, hospitalized patients, and vulnerable, symptomatic patients receiving care at health care facilities can get tested at those facilities.
  2. Critical health care workers and first responders who have symptoms can get tested at community testing sites being run by local public health agencies in various communities.

“Right now, due to limited supplies of testing kits and personal protective equipment, testing needs to be focused on the people who are the most at-risk from this disease and the people in charge of caring for and keeping the rest of us safe. It’s important to protect the most critical element of the health care system. We are working hard to get the supplies and capacity to move to broader public testing, but until then our message remains the same: if you have only mild symptoms, self-isolate and don’t wait for a test,” said Scott Bookman, CDPHE COVID-19 Incident Commander.

The state has distributed 4200 testing kits and PPE to local public health agencies in El Paso, Larimer and Mesa Counties. The counties will use these supplies to test healthcare workers and first responders across their regions. The CDPHE lab also sent 300 testing kits to the Ute Mountain Ute tribe. More testing kits will be provided to local public health agencies once those supplies are received from FEMA.

Meanwhile, the UCG  is working to develop plans that local public health agencies can use to conduct their own community testing sites when testing kits are more readily available. 

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is meant for single-use and is recommended by the CDC to be used for COVID-19 testing. In order to preserve these important resources for critical health care needs, CDPHE has recommended that health care providers prioritize testing according to these tiers:


  • Hospitalized patients
  • Health care workers with symptoms


  • Patients in long-term care facilities or other residential settings such as homeless shelters or correctional facilities with symptoms
  • Patients over age 65 with symptoms
  • Patients with underlying conditions with symptoms*
  • First responders with symptoms
  • Critical infrastructure workers with symptoms**
  • People with symptoms who work with vulnerable populations or in group residential settings


  • Other individuals with symptoms

CDPHE is urging the public to not wait for a test to self-isolate. People who are not at high risk of severe illness may not need to be evaluated in person or tested for COVID-19. Not everyone with symptoms will be tested right away. Call your healthcare provider if your illness becomes more severe, especially if you are experiencing shortness of breath. You can use telehealth or a nurseline to get medical guidance; find out more and access a  list of telehealth and nurseline resources here:

If you have any symptoms -- even mild ones -- public health urges you to stay home and isolate yourself until: 

  • You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (without the use of medicine) AND
  • Other symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) have improved AND
  • At least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.
  • Anyone in your household you have had close contact with (within six feet for approximately 10 minutes) should self-quarantine for 14 days, even if you haven’t been tested for COVID-19.
  • If you have a medical emergency, call 911. If you have severe respiratory symptoms, especially shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, tell the 911 dispatcher about your symptoms. Do not wait for a COVID-19 test to call 911.

Continue to stay up to date by visiting covid19.colorado.gov.

*A list of people who are at higher risk of severe disease can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/people-at-higher-risk.html; however, this list may not be complete.

**Critical infrastructure workers are those working in these sectors (https://www.cisa.gov/critical-infrastructure-sectors) who have a unique role in their work that cannot easily be transferred to other workers.


March 30, 2020: State Works to Increase Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Beds Statewide

DENVER, Colo.:The Colorado State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) is working with communities across the state to prepare for an expected major increase in the need for intensive care unit (ICU) beds as a result of COVID-19. 

The SEOC is partnering with local public health organizations, health care facilities, the Colorado Hospital Association, and federal and state agencies to prepare for a potential medical surge by:

  • Identifying all current hospital beds in the state by type of care.
  • Helping health care facilities with plans to free up ICU beds and transfer patients.
  • Identifying and preparing alternative care sites that could be repurposed to provide medical care.
  • Identifying and redeploying additional ventilators to areas of need with the goal of increasing ICU bed capacity.

Current estimates are that Colorado has 1,849 ICU beds across the state. The state’s goal is to add 1,000 beds by May, and to add another 5,000 by the summer. 

In the meantime, each health care facility is working to move patients out of ICUs, when possible, into acute care beds and lower-needs beds in order to prepare for increased demand in ICU settings.  

In order to open up beds in the acute care setting, ambulatory surgical centers will receive patients from acute care hospitals who are close to discharge or awaiting admission to other facilities. These ambulatory surgical centers are capable of providing medical oversight for those patients who need it, and most of the centers have space, staff, and resources available since elective surgeries are being delayed in accordance with a state public health order. The beds opened up in the acute care setting could then potentially turn into ICU beds. 

Local public health organizations and local emergency managers are also working to identify alternative care sites. Potential sites are medical facilities that could be repurposed, those that are currently underutilized, or those that have been closed due to low demand or newer hospitals being built. As local agencies create local plans for alternative care sites, they are sending their recommendations and resource needs to the SEOC.

In addition to medical sites, the SEOC has worked with the Army Corps of Engineers to identify other locations like hotels, dormitories and vacant buildings that could potentially be repurposed for medical use. The State Architect and the SEOC are evaluating these sites for medical use. This includes looking at condition, location, number of potential beds and cost to convert. Ideal locations are within one mile and up to five miles of current acute care hospitals.



March 29, 2020

Southern Ute Indian Tribe confirms two positive cases of COVID-19

Southern Ute Indian Reservation, Colo. – Two employees of the Southern Ute Indian Tribal government have tested positive for COVID 19. They are in self-quarantine and we wish them the best in their recovery.  All appropriate steps are being taken to identify anyone who may have been exposed for notification to self-quarantine and self-monitor for symptoms of the disease. San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (DCPHE) are providing assistance during this investigation.  Anyone who is contacted by SJBPH and CDPHE are encouraged to cooperate to assist them in protecting the health and welfare of our Southern Ute tribal membership and government.  It is important to know that, by definition of the Centers for Disease Control, you have not been “exposed” unless you have had close contact with a person who has tested positive.

The definition of close contact is:

“being about six (6) feet (approximately two (2) meters) from an infected person or within the room or care area of an infected patient for a prolonged period while not wearing recommended PPE. Close contact also includes instances where there is direct contact with infectious secretions while not wearing recommended PPE. Close contact generally does not include brief interactions, such as walking past a person.”

All previous advisories about how to protect yourself, self-monitor and avoid exposing others to any illness you may have are doubly important now.  In addition to all precautions already in effect being maintained the following new procedure will take effect immediately:

Any staff reporting to work at any tribal facility in Ignacio must report to the tents behind the Health Center before proceeding to their work location. Employees will be screened and cleared to work that day by Health Center staff if they have no fever or other symptoms of COVID-19.                               

The only exception to this rule are law enforcement personnel who will be screened upon arrival at the Justice Center.

Please remain calm and vigilant.  Protect yourself and protect others by staying at home if you are ill.  We knew this day would come, but we will overcome this in due time.


March 27, 2020

Gov. Polis Provides Update on State Response to COVID-19

DENVER - Gov. Jared Polis provided an update on Colorado’s response to COVID-19 and discussed the predictive modeling that is guiding the public health decisions the state is making as well as the updated public health order that corresponds with the stay-at-home executive order. 

“I continue urging my fellow Coloradans to stay home whenever possible. This global pandemic is not a competition about what you think you can get away with. The data we put forth today shows that staying home is crucial to saving lives. These are not statistics on a page, these are your neighbors, your friends, and even your family members,” said Gov. Jared Polis. “Our community and our economy will come out of this stronger than before but that means everyone must do their part.”

The Governor thanked Dr. Jon Samet, Dean of the Colorado School of Public Health and his team who have been working hard to put together the modeling data in partnership with the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

The Governor provided a slide by slide presentation for members of the media and the general public today. View the slides the Governor presented today here. 

Gov. Polis and the Department of Health and Environment also updated the public health order corresponding with the stay-at-home executive order. The changes include:

  • Critical businesses must comply with a stay at home and social distancing requirements and should minimize staff to those who are critical to the functioning of the business. 
  • Necessary travel now includes transporting children between separate households pursuant to a parenting plan or other agreement governing parental responsibilities and non-residents returning to their place of residence.
  • Essential government services now include airports, activities related to the conduct of elections, and local governments
  • Minimum basic operations now include filling online product orders and to process customer orders remotely.

Read the updated public health order here

Today, the Governor also signed executive orders today allowing Coloradans to get their marriage licenses without going in person and allowing the state to access additional funds from the Disaster Emergency Fund. Click to view D 2020 018 and D 2020-014

During the press conference, Gov. Polis continued to urge Coloradans to stay home and practice social distancing. He also urged employers to follow social distancing requirements and implement telework options or staggered work schedules to protect the health of their employees. 

Watch today’s press conference here


San Juan Basin Public Health Closes Lobbies to Public; Services Still Available by Appointment, Phone, and Online

La Plata and Archuleta counties, Colo: Effective March 26, 2020 San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) announced that their Durango office at 281 Sawyer Drive, Suite 300 and their Pagosa Springs office at 502 South 8th street will close their lobbies to the public. Services will be available by appointment only until further notice. SJBPH is making this change in order to follow social distancing recommendations, the governor’s ‘stay at home’ order, and to protect our community. SJBPH staff is still working and available to all clients.

Community members needing copies of birth and death certificates should submit applications online or by mail. SJBPH staff are available to assist with questions and payment online or by phone.  All certified copies will be return to applicants via mail. Due to this change there will be a slight delay in receiving a birth or death certificate. SJBPH Sexual Health and Immunization clinics will be available for consults over the phone, birth control pickups and essential appointments. Other client-centered services are still serving clients over the phone, or with alternative modes of interaction. Call one of our team members to find out more:

Durango Office Front Desk 970-247-5702

Pagosa Springs Office Front Desk 970-264-2409

Vital Statistics 970-247-5702 or 970-264-2409

Care Coordination 970-335-2073

Communications 970-335-2044

Environmental Health 970-335-2052

Immunization Clinic 970-335-2011

Health Insurance Literacy 970-335-2021

Nurse Family Partnership (NFP) 970-335-2083

Public Health Emergency and Response 970-335-2017

SafeCare 970-335-2041

Women Infants and Children (WIC) 970-335-2018

Sexual Health Clinic 970-335-2015

Single Entry point/ Options for Long term Care 970-335-2075

Thriving Communities 970-335-2091

For the most up to date information, visit SJBPH’s website at: https://sjbpublichealth.org/


San Juan Basin Public Health and Pagosa Springs Medical Center Plan Temporary Drive-Through COVID-19 Testing Site for High-Risk Individuals in Archuleta County

Archuleta and La Plata counties, Colo.:  San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) and Pagosa Springs Medical Center (PSMC) are opening a temporary drive-through testing site at PSMC on Tuesday, March 31st, from noon – 4 pm to collect COVID-19 (coronavirus) data, in collaboration with local multi-agency response partners.

Limited testing will be conducted at the site for individuals who meet specific testing criteria

Qualifications for testing of Archuleta County residents or people employed in the county will based on meeting Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) criteria for COVID-19 symptoms, and those who are:

  • Healthcare or long-term care workers
  • First responders
  • Older adults
  • Individuals with underlying health conditions such as heart or lung disease, or diabetes

Individuals who meet the above criteria need to call their doctors as soon as possible to get a doctor’s order, and then call the Archuleta County Central Call Center at 970.422.7084 to arrange a time slot for testing. 

Individuals who qualify for testing will be required to remain in their vehicles from the moment they enter the PSMC parking lot, until they leave the property. There could be a potential wait time in the testing line, so personal needs such as bathrooms, food, and drinks will need to be taken care of before arriving.

“There is a significant shortage of test kits nationally, in Colorado, and in Archuleta County.”, said Liane Jollon, SJBPH Executive Director. “Because of the limited number of tests that have been performed, we believe the number of COVID-19 cases in the community has been underreported. This first testing opportunity will be limited but will provide us a snapshot of the spread of the disease in this community and will allow local public health officials to take actions to mitigate future spread of COVID-19. Our end goal is to have widespread testing and SJBPH is actively seeking additional resources to provide more testing in the communities we serve,” she said.

As of 3/26/20, 1 person in Archuleta County has tested positive for COVID-19.  So far, 12 people in La Plata County are considered positive.

All tests will be allocated to those who meet the criteria listed above. Only members of the community who meet the criteria will be tested at the PSMC testing site.

In the absence of more widespread testing, people who have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing should assume they have coronavirus and should self-quarantine or isolate themselves.

Other members of the public who are not experiencing symptoms should take protective measures to prevent the spread of the disease. The measures include adhering to the state-mandated stay-at-home order,  social distancing when in public, and everyday precautions like frequent hand washing, and avoiding contact with sick people.

Pagosa Springs Medical Center is located at 95 S. Pagosa Blvd. in Pagosa Springs.  For more information on the testing site please call the Archuleta County Central Call Center at 970.422.7084.

For the most up to date information, visit SJBPH’s website at: https://sjbpublichealth.org/coronavirus/


Gov. Polis: COVID-19 Relief Fund Accepting Grant Applications

DENVER - Last week, Governor Jared Polis announced the launch of joint efforts to raise relief funds and volunteer efforts to address this public health crisis. 

Help Colorado Now has raised $7.7 million dollars from nearly 4,000 individuals, foundations and companies since the fund launched. More than 9,000 volunteers including 2,000 health care volunteers have signed up to date. 

“This is exciting news at a tough time for our state, and this milestone could not have been achieved without the support and spirit of Coloradans,” said Gov. Polis. “This is an opportunity to reflect on what we can achieve when we work together and how we can help our fellow Coloradans and small businesses bounce back stronger than ever. I’m thankful for the support these efforts have received to date. Let’s all continue to rise to the challenge.” 

The grant process has now begun and will be on a rolling basis. Those interested in applying for relief funds up to $25K can apply here. 

Coloradans can donate or sign up to volunteer at  www.HelpColoradoNow.org. The Colorado COVID Relief Fund's purpose is to raise funds and coordinate the allocation of those contributions. Funds raised will be used to support the needs of communities impacted by COVID-19 in both response and recovery. Organizations helping with the response to COVID-19 are now eligible to apply for funds. 

The fund will support work in three categories: prevention, impact, and recovery efforts. This will include things like medical and cleaning supplies, food services, early childhood education, small business support, behavioral health services, and more.  The fund will not provide direct assistance to individuals, but to community-based organizations providing direct assistance. 

Coloradans who can’t donate money are encouraged to donate their time by volunteering. Many people have skills that can be applied during this time, especially former health care workers who could return to the workforce to assist with the demand. In addition to funding and volunteers, the Governor continues to encourage healthy donors to donate blood to prevent a shortage in Colorado. Coloradans can visit Vitalant.org or click here to find a blood drive or donation center in their area.  

The Colorado COVID Relief Fund is hosted by the State of Colorado and Mile High United Way. The effort is co-chaired by Rick Sakpin and Roxane White. Additionally, the Colorado Health Foundation assisted in getting the application process up and running. The fund is overseen by a committee of community leaders from across Colorado and will be providing aid to support Colorado communities and organizations affected by the recent outbreak of COVID-19.  


March 26, 2020

First Positive COVID-19 Case in Archuleta County 

San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) has received confirmation of the first positive case of COVID-19 in an adult resident of Archuleta County. No further details about the case will be shared to protect the privacy of this individual.

SJBPH is already performing public health best practice steps for disease investigation, including contact tracing. Once someone is confirmed as infected with a virus, contacts are identified by asking about the person’s activities and the activities of the people around them since the onset of the infectious period. All known contacts are identified and informed of their contact status, and the importance of receiving early care if they develop symptoms. Contacts will also be provided with information about prevention of the disease. In some cases, quarantine or isolation is required for high risk contacts, either at home or in hospital.

Contact tracing by this method protects the privacy rights of patients in accordance with federal law, and details of the individuals’ whereabouts or contacts during the presumed infectious period will not be publicly shared by SJBPH. Individuals who are believed to have had contact with an infected person will be directly contacted by SJBPH staff.

“San Juan Basin Public Health expected that Archuleta County would see positive cases and we imagine we will see more cases in the days to come,” said SJBPH Executive Director Liane Jollon. “All residents of Archuleta County are urged to make responsible choices to protect our community and stay at home, according the governor’s recent orders,” she said. 

For the most up to date information visit SJBPH’s website: https://sjbpublichealth.org/coronavirus/ 

Other helpful resources: 


SJBPH’s website will be updated with case counts once daily at 5 p.m.



Activation of 2-1-1 

State of Colorado Activates 2-1-1 Colorado to Connect Coloradans with Human Services Resources During COVID-19 Pandemic

CENTENNIAL (March 26): Today, in partnership with Mile High United Way, the Colorado State Emergency Operations Center activated 2-1-1 Colorado to connect Coloradans with human service resources statewide. Coloradans can reach 2-1-1 Colorado online at 211Colorado.org, by dialing 2-1-1 or texting your Zip Code to 898-211. Do not call 911 for COVID-19 questions unless it is a medical emergency.

2-1-1 Colorado is a confidential and multilingual service connecting people across the State of Colorado to vital resources in their local community. 2-1-1 serves as one central location where people can access over 7,500 health and human service resources. 

Callers may experience long wait times, as demand for information is high. 2-1-1 Colorado is hiring in order to reduce wait times and meet Coloradans’ needs. Coloradans can also reach 2-1-1 Colorado online at 211Colorado.org.

2-1-1 provides navigation services to resources such as:  

  • Housing, including shelters and transitional services.
  • Rent and utility assistance.
  • Applying for SNAP benefits by phone.
  • Childcare.
  • Food/meals.
  • Transportation.
  • Clothing/personal/household needs.
  • Mental health and substance use disorders. 
  • Employment.
  • Education.
  • Medical clinics.
  • Dental clinic.
  • Other government/economic services.

2-1-1 will work in conjunction with The Colorado Health Emergency Line for the Public (CO HELP), a toll-free hotline for the latest public health information. If Coloradans are looking for general information about COVID-19, such as the number of cases in Colorado, the list of symptoms, or how you can protect yourself, they can call CO HELP by dialing 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911. 

"2-1-1 Colorado provides an invaluable service to thousands of individuals and families across Colorado. 2-1-1 is committed to meeting the growing needs of our community members impacted by the outbreak, and we are expanding our capacity to reach more people in need of support. We encourage all of our neighbors in need of immediate resources to connect with 2-1-1 Colorado to get help. We are grateful to the State of Colorado for their support and all the volunteers and donors who are supporting us to be able to answer the call,” said Christine Benero, President and CEO, Mile High United Way.

2-1-1 Resource Navigators are available to help by phone, Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and have access to a language translation service to accommodate over 170 languages. Coloradans can also reach 2-1-1 toll-free by dialing 866-760-6489. 

2-1-1 and CO HELP cannot offer medical advice or assistance. If you are having a medical emergency, call 911.

March 25, 2020

Gov. Polis Announces Statewide Stay-At-Home Order, Provides Update on Colorado Response to COVID-19

CENTENNIAL - Today Gov. Polis announced a statewide stay-at-home order beginning on Thursday, March 26 at 6:00 a.m. and will last until April 11, 2020. The Governor also provided an update on the state’s response to COVID-19 and actions taken to limit the spread of the virus. 

“Coloradans are living through a global pandemic and this decision was made to help save lives,” said Governor Jared Polis. “We will continue doing everything we can to get the resources Colorado needs to address COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of all Coloradans. In true Colorado spirit, we’re seeing our friends, family and neighbors rise to the challenge, donating their time, money or extra supplies to support relief efforts at the state and local levels. We are in this together and this is the season to stay at home to save lives.” 

This executive order means Coloradans should not be leaving their homes except for critical activities including: 

  • Obtaining food and other household necessities including medicine
  • Going to and from work if you are a critical employee
  • Seeking medical care
  • Caring for dependents or pets
  • Caring for a vulnerable person in another location
  • Cannabis and liquor stores will remain open 
  • Or participating in outdoor recreation at a legally-mandated safe distance of six feet or more from other parties

Read the full order here. Read the FAQ here. Read the public health order here. Watch the press conference here

Colorado continues facing a shortage of resources in addressing this pandemic, which is why the Governor sent a letter to the Trump administration urging the president to declare a Major Disaster for the State of Colorado. A major disaster declaration would free up resources for medical care, housing, unemployment assistance, crisis counseling, hazard mitigation and more. California, Washington and New York have received these declarations. Read the request here. 

While the state is facing a shortage of resources, Coloradans are stepping up to try and fill the gap. More than 7,000 Coloradans have already signed up to volunteer on www.helpcoloradonow.org, nearly 1,300 of which have medical training. The Colorado COVID Relief Fund has also raised more than $7 million since launching late last week. 

Gov. Polis requested and received dual-status commander authority to ensure unity of command, allowing regular, federal military units to be controlled by a single commander representing the Governor. This will help to eliminate confusion and conflict and allow the state to streamline the utilization of military personnel in this response.

The Governor announced that the state lab has eliminated its backlog and there will be new labs coming online at the University of Colorado, Colorado State University, University Hospital, and Children’s Hospital. The Governor thanked CSU and CU for their willingness to test the personal protective equipment the private sector is ramping up that the state needs now. 

Governor Polis also provided an update on the federal stimulus package which included $377 billion for small business loans and grants, $1200 in direct cash assistance to Americans based on income eligibility.

The Governor also provided an update on the Innovation Response Team, introducing two new members: Lucy Sanders and Tim Miller. Lucy is the CEO and a co-founder of the National Center for Women & Information Technology and will head up Isolation Services. The objective is to provide people who are in self-isolation or home quarantine with critical supplies like food and access to health care, and also ancillary services to make their at-home experience as comfortable as possible. Tim Miller is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Rally Software and will head the Software Development Team. The objective is to build applications and web sites for both government and citizens to manage all aspects of the crisis, and provide the state with key data. 

The Governor also noted that the Innovation Response Team is working as hard as they can to identify manufacturers and supply chains, but urged the private sector to help in this effort.

March 24, 2020

Positive Cases for COVID-19 in Residents of La Plata County Tested at SJBPH’s Community Testing Site

Archuleta and La Plata counties, Colo.: San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) has received notification of three positive cases of COVID-19 in adult residents of La Plata County who were tested at SJBPH’s community testing site last week. This is in addition to the initial positive case announced by SJBPH on March 23 and makes a total of four positive cases.

Investigation of these results indicates the virus is being transmitted by community spread. Community spread means at least one of the individuals is believed to have acquired the disease locally rather than from outside the community. This indicates that transmission of the virus is accelerating in the community.

SJBPH is already performing public health best practice steps for disease investigation, including contact tracing. Once someone is confirmed as infected with a virus, contacts are identified by asking about the person’s activities and the activities of the people around them since the onset of the infectious period. All known contacts are identified and informed of their contact status, and the importance of receiving early care if they develop symptoms. Contacts will also be provided with information about prevention of the disease. In some cases, quarantine or isolation is required for high risk contacts, either at home or in hospital.

Contact tracing by this method protects the privacy rights of patients in accordance with federal law, and details of the individuals’ whereabouts or contacts during the presumed infectious period will not be publicly shared by SJBPH. Individuals who are believed to have had contact with an infected person will be directly contacted by SJBPH staff.

“San Juan Basin Public Health expected that positive cases would result from the community testing conducted last week and we imagine we will see more cases in the days to come,” said SJBPH Executive Director Liane Jollon. “All residents of Archuleta and La Plata Counties are urged to make responsible choices to protect our community and stay at home,” she said. Today the SJBPH Board of Health was informed of new cases with community transmission. SJBPH is considering additional disease control measures.

After today, SJBPH’s website will be updated with case counts once daily at 5 p.m.

For the most up to date information visit SJBPH’s website: https://sjbpublichealth.org/coronavirus/ 

Other helpful resources: 

March 23, 2020

Gov. Polis Announces the in-person workforce cut by 50% 

Ordering Colorado Employers To Reduce In-Person Workforce by Fifty Percent Due to the Presence of COVID-19 in the State

On Sunday March 22nd, Governor Polis issued Executive Order D2020-013 ordering Colorado non critical-workplaces to reduce in-person workforce by fifty percent due to the presence of COVID-19 in the State. The order directs all Colorado employers to implement tele-work capabilities to the greatest extent possible. If tele-work is not practical or possible, the Governor encourages employers to stagger work schedules to reduce the proximity of workers during work hours and to keep employees on payroll as we endure this temporary disruption to commerce together. Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s (CDPHE) issued a public health order defining critical emergency personnel, infrastructure, government functions, and other activities that are exempt from the directives in this Executive Order. For more information on what this order means for you, please see below.

About the Order:
When does the order take effect?
The order will take effect Tuesday, March 24rd at 8:00AM

When does the order end?
The order is set to last through 11:59 PM on Friday, April 10th, 2020 unless extended, rescinded, superseded, or amended in writing.

Why is the Order necessary?
On March 5, 2020, CDPHE’s public health laboratory confirmed the first presumptive positive COVID-19 test result in Colorado. Since then, the number of confirmed cases has continued to climb. We all need to take these precautions for the preservation of public health and safety throughout the entire State and to ensure our healthcare delivery system can serve those who are sick.

The intent of this Order is to reduce the amount of people congregating in workplaces at one time in order to reduce the proximity of people in the workplace, while enabling the services, businesses, and travel necessary to protect public health and safety, and for the continuity of social and commercial life pursuant to the public health goal of saving lives.

Where does the 50% order apply?
The Governor’s executive order includes the entire state.
Does not apply to critical business. Although this order does not apply to critical business they are encouraged to observe social distancing to the extent possible.
Does not apply to any employer that can certify that employees are no closer than six feet from one another during any part of their work hours. Governor Polis directed CDPHE to develop and issue a certification method, with appropriate penalties for supplying false information, that allows employers to demonstrate that they are in compliance with this directive.

Is this mandatory or just guidance?
This order is MANDATORY.

What does the 50% order do?

For Businesses:
 - Directs Colorado employers to reduce their in-person work forces by fifty percent. This can be done through multiple strategies such as enabling telecommuting, rotating shifts, and staggering work schedules.
 - Directs all Colorado employers to implement tele-work capabilities to the greatest extent possible.
 - If tele-work is not practical or possible, the Governor encourages employers to stagger work schedules to reduce the proximity of workers during work hours and to keep employees on payroll as we endure this temporary disruption to commerce together.

For Employees:
 - Encouraged to practice social distancing outside of their employment and to only engage in activities or perform tasks critical to their health and safety, or to the health and safety of their family or household members.
 - People at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and people who are sick should not leave their residence except as necessary to receive medical care
 - Individuals experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 must self-isolate until their symptoms cease or until they have a negative test result.

How will this order be enforced?
 - This EO makes this the law, therefore breaking this is breaking the law. We all must do our part. Success depends on all of us doing our part. This calls upon voluntary compliance by all affected. Enforcement of public health orders has been given to Local Law enforcement and State Law enforcement has plans in place to assist and support in any way requested, but the idea is to gain compliance voluntarily. That is something that is reserved only for the most aggravated circumstances. This is a measure that we all must do our part to achieve to save lives.

Will the Colorado National Guard be enforcing this order?
 - No. The Colorado National Guard will be supporting logistics, transportation, and medical response efforts. The Guard will not be enforcing this order.

What is a Critical Business or Operation Under the Order? These are the businesses that will be open:

1. Healthcare Operations, Including:
hospitals, clinics, and walk-in health facilities medical and dental care, including ambulatory providers research and laboratory services medical wholesale and distribution home health care companies, workers and aides pharmacies pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies behavioral health care providers including crisis services veterinary care and livestock services nursing homes, residential health care, or congregate care facilities medical supplies and equipment manufacturers and providers, including durable medical equipment technicians and suppliers.

This does NOT include health clubs as defined in C.R.S. § 6-1-102(4.6), fitness
and exercise gyms, and similar facilities

All medical, dental and veterinary care provided pursuant to this Order must comply with the directives set forth in Executive Order D 2020 009.

2. Critical Infrastructure, Including:
utilities including power generation, fuel supply and transmission oil and gas production field operations public water and wastewater telecommunications and data centers transportation and infrastructure necessary to support authorized businesses hotels, and places of accommodation businesses and organizations that provide food, shelter, social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged, persons with access and/or functional needs, or otherwise vulnerable individuals food and plant cultivation, including farming crops, livestock, food processing and manufacturing, animal feed and feed products, rendering, commodity sales, and any other work critical to the operation of any component of the food supply chain

3. Critical Manufacturing, Including:
food processing, manufacturing agents, including all foods and beverages
chemicals medical equipment supplies or instruments pharmaceuticals sanitary products telecommunications microelectronics/semiconductor agriculture/farmshousehold paper products any business that produces products critical or incidental to the processing, functioning, development, manufacture, or delivery of any of the categories of products included in this part

4. Critical Retail, Including:
grocery stores including all food and beverage stores farm and produce stands
gas stations and convenience stores restaurants/bars (for take-out/delivery only as authorized under Public Health Order 20-22, as amended) marijuana dispensary, but only for the sale of medical marijuana or curbside delivery pursuant to Executive Order D 2020 011hardware, farm supply, and building material stores establishments engaged in the retail sale of food and any other household consumer products (such as cleaning and personal care products)

5. Critical Services, Including:

News Media, trash and recycling collection, processing and disposal, mail and shipping services, and locations that offer PO boxes laundromats and drycleaning services building cleaning and maintenance child care services (following the requirements outlined in Exemptions below) auto supply and repair (including retail dealerships that include repair and maintenance, provided that retail activity ceases) warehouse/distribution and fulfillment funeral homes, crematoriums, and cemeteries in-person pastoral services for individuals who are in crisis or in need of end of life services provided social distancing is observed to the greatest extent possible storage for critical businesses animal shelters, animal rescues, zoological facilities, animal sanctuaries, and other related facilities, newspapers, television, radio and other media services

7. Financial Institutions, Including:
Banks and credit institutions, insurance, payroll, and accounting services, services related to financial markets

8. Providers of Basic Necessities to Economically Disadvantaged Populations, Including:
homeless shelters and congregate care facilities food banks human services providers whose function includes the direct care of patients in state-licensed or funded voluntary programs; the care, protection, custody and oversight of individuals both in the community and in state-licensed residential facilities; those operating community shelters and other critical human services agencies providing direct care or support

9. Construction, Including:
Defense especially for housing and housing for low-income and vulnerable people
skilled trades such as electricians, plumbers other related firms and professionals for who provide services necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and critical operation of residences defense and security-related operations supporting the State of Colorado, local government, the U.S. Government or a contractor to either or all.

10. Critical Services Necessary to Maintain the Safety, Sanitation and critical Operations of Residences or Other critical Businesses, Including:
law enforcement, fire prevention and response, building code enforcement
security, emergency management and response, building cleaners or janitors
general maintenance whether employed by the entity directly or a vendor
automotive repair, snow removal

11. Vendors that Provide Critical Services or Products, Including Logistics and Technology Support, Child Care and Services:
logistics, technology support for online and telephone services, child care programs and services, government owned or leased buildings, critical government services

12. “Critical Government Functions” means providing, operating, and supporting:
a. Critical services, including
i. public safety (police stations, fire and rescue stations, correctional institutions,
emergency vehicle and equipment storage, and, emergency operation centers);
ii. emergency response;
iii. judicial branch operations
iv. emergency medical (hospitals, ambulance service centers, urgent care centers
having emergency treatment functions, and non-ambulatory surgical structures but excluding clinics, doctors offices, and non-urgent care medical structures that do not provide these functions);
v. designated emergency shelters;
vi. communications (main hubs for telephone, broadcasting equipment for cable
systems, satellite dish systems, cellular systems, television, radio, and other emergency warning systems, but excluding towers, poles, lines, cables, and conduits);
vii. Public utility plant facilities for generation and distribution (hubs, treatment plants, substations and pumping stations for water, power and gas, but not including towers, poles, power lines, buried pipelines, transmission lines, distribution lines, and service lines); and
viii. transportation lifelines (public transportation, transportation infrastructure, airports (municipal and larger), helicopter pads and structures serving emergency functions, and associated infrastructure (aviation control towers, air traffic control centers, and emergency equipment aircraft hangars);
ix. hazardous material safety;
x. services to at-risk and vulnerable populations:;
xi. any government service required for the public health and safety, government functionality, or vital to restoring normal services.

What will be open during the duration of the order?

Will grocery stores be open?
Yes, essential services will still be operational including, but not limited to:

o Grocery stores
o Gas stations
o Pharmacies
o Police stations
o Fire stations
o Hospitals, clinics and healthcare operations o Garbage/sanitation
o Public transportation
o Public benefits (i.e. SNAP, Medicaid) hotlines

Can I order food/groceries?
Yes, grocery delivery will be available as well as meal-delivery, drive through, and take-out options.

Will liquor and cannabis stores be open?
Yes. Items will on before sale only for off site consumption and while purchasing social distancing should be practiced.

How can I get medical care if I need it?
If you are feeling sick, call your doctor, a nurse hotline, any telehealth hotline set up specifically for COVID-19 (check with your insurance company) or an urgent care center.If you are experiencing symptoms or are currently in isolation, you should stay at home and follow the guidelines provided by your physician. Do not go to an emergency room unless necessary. Nonessential medical care like eye exams and teeth-cleaning should be postponed. When possible, healthcare visits should be done remotely. Contact your healthcare provider to see what tele-health services they provide.

Can I get a prescription filled or other healthcare needs?
Yes. Pharmacies and other medical services will remain open. You should request for your prescriptions to be delivered to your home if that is possible.

Will public transportation and ride sharing be available?
Public transportation and ride sharing should be used for essential travel only. When possible, walk or drive yourself.

Will roads be closed?
No, the roads will not be closed. You should only travel if it is essential to your work or health.

Can I take a flight out of state?
Planes and any other form of travel should only be used for essential purposes.

What if my home is not a safe environment?
If it is not safe for you to remain home, you are able and urged to find another safe place to stay during this order. Please reach out so we can help. You may call the domestic violence hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or contact your local law enforcement.

What About Vulnerable and Children Populations?
What about homeless people who can’t stay at home?
The administration wants to protect the health and safety of all Coloradans, regardless of where they live. State agencies are partnering with community organizations to provide funding and resources to ensure our homeless population has safe shelter.

The Department of Local Affairs is working on getting a list of Cold Weather Shelters in the Balance of State Continuum of Care with; Contact info, Locations, Bed counts, Closing Dates.

In addition DOLA is working with state and local partners who provide services to our unhoused Coloradans through a statewide homeless taskforce. The first meeting is Monday, March 23, 2020 1-2pm.
HUD has also developed an Infectious Disease Toolkit for Continuums of Care (CoC) to prepare for and manage the spread of infectious disease in shelters.
Finally, DOLA, CDPHE and other partner agencies have created guidance for homeless care providers that is posted on the COVID-19 website.
Can I leave home to take care of an elderly or sick family member or friend?
Yes. Please be sure to practice social distancing and wash your hands frequently. Elderly people and people with suppressed immune systems are at heightened risk for contracting COVID-19.

Does this order mean I can’t take my kids to the park?
 - State parks will be open. Families will still be able to go outside, including to local parks and outdoor spaces that remain open, and take a walk, run, or bike ride but should continue to practice social distancing by remaining 6 feet away from other people. Playground equipment should be avoided.

Is child care open?
 - Licensed child care remains open under specific guidance from public health. We are working to ensure all essential workers have access to childcare services so are licensing new centers and those that may have closed, on an emergency basis, to ensure there are enough spots for the children of essential workers. For urgent child care needs, contact 2-1-1.

Can I pick up meals being provided by my child’s school?
 - Yes. Schools that provide free food services to students will continue on a pick-up and take-home basis.

What about my pet?
Pet supply stores and veterinary services will remain open. You are allowed to walk your dog and seek medical care for your pet should they require it. Be sure to practice social distancing while out on walks, maintaining at least 6 feet from other neighbors and their pets.


San Juan Basin Public Health Issues 'Stay at Home' Advisory

Durango, Colo.: Please see below for San Juan Basin Public Health’s (SJBPH) ‘Stay at Home’ Advisory. Through the advisory, SJBPH reaffirms statewide orders to slow the spread of COVID-19. In addition, SJBPH urges all residents to do their part by staying at home unless it is essential.





WHEREAS, there is significant consensus that COVID-19 resulted in a world-wide pandemic and local disaster emergency as evidenced by the following:

  • On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 a “public health emergency of international concern;”
  • On January 31, 2020, the United States Department of Health and Human Services declared the virus a public health emergency;
  • On February 26, 2020, the CEO of USJHSD activated USJHSD’s emergency operations plan for a pandemic;
  • On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 to be a global pandemic;
  • On March 11, 2020, the Governor of Colorado issued Executive Order D 2020-003 declaring Colorado a state of disaster emergency due to the presence of COVID-19 in Colorado;
  • On March 12, 2020, the CEO of USJHSD activated its Incident Command as part of its emergency operations plan to prepare and respond to the pandemic;
  • On March 13, 2020 the President of the United States issued a Proclamation that the “COVID-19 outbreak constitutes a national emergency;”
  • On March 16, 2020, the Executive Director of San Juan Basin Public Health, the public health district for Archuleta and La Plata counties, declared a local disaster emergency for its entire district for a period up to seven days, and on March 17, 2020 the Board of Public Health for the San Juan Basin Public Health consented to the continuation of the declaration of local disaster emergency for so long as is necessary to address the COVID-19 pandemic as determined by its Executive Director or Board;
  • On March 16, 2020, the County Administrator of La Plata County declared a local disaster emergency for a period of up to seven days and on March 17, 2020, the Board of County Commissioners adopted Resolution 2020-16 extended the local disaster emergency declaration until such time as the Board determines the disaster emergency has terminated through adoption of a resolution declaring such;
  • On March 16, 2020, the County Administrator of Archuleta County declared a local disaster emergency and on March 17, 2020, the Board of County Commissioners adopted Resolution 2020-95 extending the Declaration of a Local Disaster through April 21, 2020;
  • On March 16, 2020, the Interim City Manager of the City of Durango declared an emergency for a period of up to seven days and on March 17, 2020, the City Council ratified the emergency disaster declaration and continued until further action of the Council;
  • On March 16, 2020, the Mayor of the Town of Pagosa Springs declared a local disaster emergency for a period of up to seven days and on March 19, 2020, the Town Council consented to a continuation of the declaration of local disaster emergency;
  • During the week of March 16, 2020, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe ceased nonessential tribal governmental operations due to COVID-19 and on March 22, 2020 ordered the Southern Ute Indian Tribe to modify tribal government services and business operations effective March 23, 2020;
  • On March 19, 2020, the Board of Trustees of the Town of Ignacio adopted Resolution 05-2020 Declaring a State of Emergency for the Town of Ignacio.

WHEREAS, the virus that causes COVID-19 can easily be spread through person-to-person contact and the risk of transmission is higher when people are in close proximity; and

WHEREAS, as of March 22, 2020, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has confirmed 591 cases of COVID-19 within the State of Colorado and public health experts anticipate that, due to the contagiousness of the illness and the fact that numerous travelers from around the world visit the Health District, La Plata and Archuleta counties are at higher risk of COVID-19 spread; and

WHEREAS, in the absence of immunization or specific treatment, the Health Officer has determined that social distancing is the best tool currently available to slow the spread of COVID-19; and

WHEREAS, as of March 22, 2020, Colorado State Governor Jared Polis has issued the following public health and executive orders in order to slow the spread of COVID-19:

  • EXECUTIVE ORDER D 2020-004, Ordering Closure of Downhill Ski Resorts Due to the Presence of COVID-19 in the State of Colorado, issued on March 14, 2020;
  • EXECUTIVE ORDER D 2020-005, Directing State Parties and Secretary of State to Amend Rules Regarding In-Person Gatherings to all the 2020 Primary Election to Proceed without Interruption, in light of the Disaster Declaration set forth in Executive Order D 2020 003, issued on March 16, 2020;
  • EXECUTIVE ORDER D 2020-006, Amending Executive Order D 2020 004 Ordering Closure of Downhill Ski Areas Due to the Presence of COVID-19 in the State of Colorado, in Light of the Disaster Declaration Set Forth in Executive Order D 2020 003, issued on March 18, 2020;
  • EXECUTIVE ORDER D 2020-007, Ordering Suspension of Normal In-Person Instruction at All Public and Private Elementary and Secondary Schools in the State of Colorado Due to the Presence of COVID-19, issued March 18, 2020;
  • EXECUTIVE ORDER D 2020-008, Amending Executive Order D 2020 005 to Limit In-Person Contact Concerning Elections and the Secretary of State’s Operations, in light of the Disaster Declaration set forth in Executive Order D 2020 003, issued on March 18, 2020;
  • EXECUTIVE ORDER D 2020-009, Ordering the Temporary Cessation of All Elective and Non-Essential Surgeries and Procedures and Preserving Personal Protective Equipment and Ventilators in Colorado Due to the Presence of COVID-19, issued March 19, 2020;
  • EXECUTIVE ORDER D 2020-010, Ordering the Suspension of Statute to Extend the Income Tax Payment Deadlines Due to the COVID-19 Disaster Emergency, issued March 20, 2020;
  • EXECUTIVE ORDER D 2020-011, Ordering the Temporary Suspension of Certain Regulatory Statutes Due to the Presence of COVID-19, issued March 20, 2020;
  • EXECUTIVE ORDER D 2020-012, Limiting Evictions, Foreclosures, and Public Utility Disconnections and Expediting Unemployment Insurance Claim Processing to Provide Relief to Coloradans Affected by COVID-19, issued March 20, 2020;
  • EXECUTIVE ORDER D 2020-013, Ordering Colorado Employers to Reduce In-Person Workforce by Fifty Percent Due to the Presence of COVID-19 in the State, issued March 22, 2020. 

WHEREAS, this STAY AT HOME ADVISORY may be amended as additional State Orders are issued.


 1. The Health Officer for San Juan Basin Public Health hereby reaffirms that there is a local public health disaster emergency within the Health District, that immediate and drastic measures are necessary to mitigate the imminent threat of widespread or severe damage, injury or loss of life or property resulting from the COVID-19 virus.

 2. San Juan Basin Public Health, as a political subdivision of the State of Colorado, charged with protecting public health within the Health District, endorses the Public Health and Executive Orders listed above and urges other political subdivisions within the Health District to take immediate action to comply with the Orders.

 3. The effect of this Advisory shall be to urge our community members to do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19 and STAY AT HOME to every extent possible – especially if you are among the high risk category, to limit non-essential activities of daily life, and to minimize and prevent social contact.  Those who exhibit symptoms must isolate themselves so as not to infect others.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this Advisory shall be effective upon the date and time given below and shall remain in effect until it is no longer necessary as deemed by the Health Officer.


Date: _3/23/2020_

By: _____Liane Jollon______

  Liane Jollon, Executive Director and Health Officer

March 18, 2020

Resources from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment 

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) has a variety of resources for workers and employers who are impacted by the Coronavirus.

Resources for Workers

Paid sick leave:

Workers in certain industries are eligible for up to four days of paid sick leave when experiencing flu-like symptoms AND awaiting test results for COVID-19. The covered industries are:  leisure and hospitality; food services; child care; education, including transportation, food service, and related work at educational establishments; home health, if working with elderly, disabled, ill, or otherwise high-risk individuals and; nursing homes and community living facilities.

Read our FAQs

Unemployment Insurance Benefits

Resources for Employees Whose Employers are Closed or Working Fewer Hours

If you work for a ski resort or other employer that closed or reduced your hours to help stop the spread of COVID-19, you can file or reopen an unemployment claim. Go to coloradoui.gov/fileaclaim.

Read our FAQs (last updated 03-16-20)

Helpful Facts About Unemployment Insurance Benefits (PDF)

Datos Útiles Acerca de los Beneficios de Desempleo (PDF)

For more information about unemployment insurance benefits, go to colorodoui.gov.

Resources for Employers

Alternatives to Laying off Your Employees

The Division of Unemployment Insurance offers a Work-Share Program as an alternative to laying off your employees. Visit the website to see if your business qualifies.


Board of Health Ratifies SJBPH Health Officer's Declaration of a Local Disaster Emergency 

Durango, Colo.: The San Juan Basin Public Health Board has declared that without an appropriate response, the spread of the COVID-19 virus could result in increased numbers of cases and serious illness or death for more vulnerable community members.  Yesterday, SJBPH’s Board of Health met in an open session and adopted Resolution 2020-003, which ratified the agency’s Health Officer’s Declaration of a Local Disaster Emergency (Declaration 2020-001, issued on March 16, 2020) and consented to continue the Declaration for so long as is necessary as determined by its Health Officer or the Board in order to stem the presence of COVID-19 in the Health District as an imminent threat to the health and wellbeing of Archuleta and La Plata county residents and visitors. 

For the most up to date information, visit SJBPH’s website at: https://sjbpublichealth.org/coronavirus/

March 16, 2020

Declaration of Public Health Emergency and Closures

Visit Durango understands the COVID-19 public health crisis poses incredibly difficult financial challenges to our industry partners and threatens the livelihoods of our business community and residents. The safety and wellbeing of our visitors, residents and industry partners remains our highest priority. We will continue to work with public health and travel organizations to keep you informed about Colorado travel and public health. 

The travel industry’s guiding principle is to seek and heed the most up-to-date expert guidance. While there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Durango/La Plata County and no travel restrictions in place for the USA, Colorado is experiencing community spread of the disease. 

Therefore Visit Durango joins Governor Polis, San Juan Basin Public Health, and the Colorado Tourism Office (CTO) in taking measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

Colorado Impact as of March 16, 10am:

  • On March 10, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis declared a state of emergency to protect public health and our vulnerable populations and prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

  • On Saturday, March 14, Polis issued an executive order mandating the closing of ski resorts.

  • On March 15, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance, recommended that event organizers cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more.

  • The Colorado Tourism Office is suspending operations for all 10 Colorado Welcome Centers effective Monday, March 16, through March 22. 

  • Flights to and from the Durango – La Plata County Airport are currently operating per normal schedules. 

Durango/La Plata County Closures as of March 16, 10am:

  • Durango Welcome Center is closed, effective Monday, March 16 until further notice. 

  • Purgatory Resort is closed March 15 - March 22, due to an executive order by Gov. Polis suspending downhill ski area operations for one week.

  • City of Durango facility closures effective Monday, March 16 and will be in effect through April 7, 2020:

    • Durango Community Recreation Center

    • Chapman Hill

    • Durango Gymnastics

    • Durango Public Library

  • Fort Lewis College classes are cancelled and moving to online after spring break

  • The Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College has suspended scheduled shows through April 8, 2020.

Talking Points for Visitors 

There are several things people should consider when deciding whether it is safe to travel. Depending on your unique circumstances, you may choose to delay or cancel your plans. If you decide to travel, be sure to practice precautions to prevent getting and spreading COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases during travel. 

What is Visit Durango doing to support industry partners? 

Visit Durango is working with community leaders including the City of Durango, Downtown Business Improvement District (BID), the Chamber, and others to identify ways to support our community during this incredibly challenging situation. 

On Friday, Visit Durango and BID created a campaign to encourage ways to support our favorite Durango businesses: https://www.downtowndurango.org/covid19. BID is promoting the campaign via radio ads and social media posts, and we will continue to re-evaluate based on this rapidly evolving situation. Feel free to share this message on your own social media and marketing channels.

  • BID is compiling a list of businesses that offer gift cards, take out, or online shopping. Please send your business details to TimW@downtowndurango.org

  • Visit Durango is compiling a list of businesses with adjusted and/or flexible cancellation policies on our website. Please send your updated cancellation policy changes to cassie@durango.org to be included.  

  • Local stakeholders are meeting on Monday, March 16 to identify other ways to support the business community and residents.

  • We are also in the process of planning our recovery for a strong comeback once the threat of COVID-19 recedes. 

*Other Resources

Visit Durango’s web page for up-to-date local information: https://www.durango.org/plan/coronavirus/

For more information about impacts to the Colorado Travel industry, please visit https://industry.colorado.com/what-know-about-covid-19-and-colorado-travel 

CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel webpage: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment COVID-19 Info: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/2019-novel-coronavirus

San Juan Basin Public Health for local alerts in Durango/La Plata County: https://sjbpublichealth.org/coronavirus/


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