San Juan Basin Public Health Executive Director Liane Jollon appeared before Durango City Council on Monday to ask the community, for the second time in less than a week, to do a better job of containing the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Jollon presented statewide and local data and said Southwest Colorado is at a critical juncture for containing COVID-19.
In a news release, San Juan Basin Public Health wrote, “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, leading to unnecessary deaths.”
According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state are at their highest point since mid-April. Hospitalizations have increased by more than 400% since early September. That represents a higher increase than models were projecting, which means Colorado could run out of intensive-care beds this winter.
In the news release, Jollon said, “By continuously practicing good public health habits, you can prevent your community from needing to control the virus with more restrictions on social gatherings and economic activity, as has happened elsewhere in the state.”
The release goes on to warn La Plata County is nearing COVID-19 levels that would require more reductions in gathering sizes and businesses’ operating capacity. To avoid increased restrictions, SJBPH encourages community members to:
Stay at home as much as possible and avoid social gatherings with more than one household.Work from home when possible.Practice social distancing.Wear facial coverings when in public.Practice good hygiene and get tested if experiencing symptoms.The health department and local government partners did not directly respond last week to questions about how they plan to enforce public health orders against noncomplying businesses.