By Terri Lynn Oldham House
More than 1,080 people in the U.S. tested positive for Covid-19, also known as coronavirus, as of Wednesday morning; at least 32 people across the country have died.
The first positive case of Covid-19 in Colorado was confirmed on March 5. That number has grown to 27 statewide as of press time Wednesday.
As of this writing, zero cases of Covid-19 have been reported within Archuleta County or La Plata
County, however, tests have been conducted at Pagosa Springs Medical Center and health care providers in La Plata
Gov. Jared Polis took action by declaring a state of emergency Tuesday.
“What it does is it gives us access to resources and more legal flexibility to take steps now to protect the most vulnerable and better contain the outbreak, truly reducing the chances of the trajectory that has occurred in countries like Italy from occurring here in Colorado,” Polis said.
Pagosa Springs Medical Center staff, area doctors and community leaders, along with local, regional and state governmental agencies, have proactively joined forces through collaboration and preparation.
On Monday, it was announced that the 9Health fair set for April has been postponed.
“We have made the decision to postpone the spring 9Health Fairs while pursuing options for alternate screenings,” reads an email from 9Health CEO and President Gary Drews.
In an effort to mitigate impact and stop the spread, we will see additional cancellations of gatherings in the days to come. We believe that canceling events could slow the spread of COVID-19 and result in saving lives.
Many people have already stopped shaking hands and giving hugs that so many of us in Pagosa Country have come to expect as a friendly greeting.
“Social distancing” is the new catch phrase.
Over the weekend, many discovered toilet paper and hand sanitizer was nonexistent on store shelves. Some blamed the spring break visitors; others blamed people hoarding due to advice of officials to stock up on supplies for potential quarantines.
Stock markets have plummeted in the wake of coronavirus fears.
Some blame mainstream media for that widespread fear. As your hometown newspaper, our duty is to keep readers informed. We will provide updates at PagosaSUN.com as warranted. We will also post information on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/pagosa.newspaper.
We should be concerned and take precautions to avoid Covid-19, especially people who are at a higher risk such as the elderly and those with underlying health issues. However, the vast majority of people who will be infected with coronavirus will have mild or even no symptoms.
And, yes, more people have died from influenza than coronavirus, but health officials have good reasons to be alarmed.
With cold and flu season and the outbreak of 2019 novel coronavirus, it is imperative to be diligent and take the steps necessary to protect yourself.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) reminds us of the following precautions:
• “Clean hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub.
• “Cover nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing.
• “Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.
• “Getting a flu shot if you haven’t gotten one this year.”
We encourage you to stay informed and read the article on the front page of this week’s paper.
It is more important now than ever that our community be vigilant.
By Terri Lynn Oldham House