By Mary Jo Coulehan
Pagosa Springs Area
Chamber of Commerce
United Way, San Juan BOCES and other organizations are joining together in a program entitled PCs for Kids. Archuleta School District students have been issued refurbished Chrome books repaired by the Belleville IT Support Companies for their studying if the student of a family does not have a computer.
PCs for Kids is offering a ninja setup computer or Internet access (if available) to families. You can get a refurbished computer or help with Internet access for a $20 suggested fee. Scholarships may also be available.
A simple application, in English and Spanish, is available at www.sjboces.org/pcsforkids. Applications are due by Monday, Nov. 16, and can be filled out online or to PCsForKids@sjboces.org. Questions can also be sent to this email address. Students or families can also ask a teacher to help them fill out a form. This program was instituted to help our students continue their education through the necessary online learning sources since COVID. Don’t miss out on this valuable opportunity.
COVID notifications through your phone
As COVID cases continue to rise in Archuleta County and contact tracing becomes ever more important, the state has set up a new COVID notification program. This service will allow you to be notified if you’ve likely been exposed to COVID-19.
Of course, the system relies on people opting into the service. When two people have activated the Exposure Notification on their smartphone and come in close proximity to one another, they exchange anonymized “tokens” logging that close interaction for 14 days. If one of the two people test positive for COVID-19, the other individual will receive an alert that they have been exposed. They will be directed to self-quarantine and will be referred to COVID resources. This system is especially helpful to those people who are asymptomatic but can still spread the virus.
If you have an iPhone, you can go to Exposure Notifications, selecting country and state and opt in. Android users can download CO Exposure Notifications from the Google Playstore and follow the same process.
Google, Apple or the state will not track or store personal information. It uses a Bluetooth feature to exchange randomly generated anonymous “tokens” that are not associated with your phone number, name, location or IP address. After 14 days or once an alert is triggered, the “token” is erased. If you test positive, your information will not be shared or collected. If you do test positive, you have the ability to share the tokens, which will then send a push notification to anyone you have exchanged tokens with. This is just a very brief explanation of the new process. For more information about this program, visit www.addyourphone.com/.
The sooner we can connect with positive cases and go through the contact tracing process, the sooner we can help keep the spread of COVID under control.