Coronavirus in Southern Colorado: The lastest from the region and Colorado

Tuesday, March 24

5:00 p.m. | Pueblo leaders consider stay-at-home orders

Pueblo leaders released a statement on Tuesday evening, where they are considering state-at-home orders if they don’t see a reduction of movement and social distancing in Pueblo. 

Public Health Director Randy Evetts warned that community spread is likely in Pueblo:

Even though we do not have test results in our community, based on state modeling, we know community spread is likely a reality, said Randy Evetts, public health director at the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment.

Officials said they are not ready to make the decision and are evaluating the situation daily. The order would:

Stay-at-home orders will likely include closing all non-essential businesses and mandating people stay home unless they are buying groceries, going to the doctor, or providing other critical services for family members. Group gatherings will be banned, while outdoor exercise (in non-group settings) will be allowed.

4:45 p.m. | Fremont County to host testing site on Monday, March 30

Fremont County Health will set-up a drive-through testing site on Monday 10 a.m., March 30. Testing will be limited to individuals with a medical referral and who display symptoms. 

2:30 p.m. | Office of Emergency Management Director “Substantially more COVID-19 cases than being reported” in rural Colorado

On a teleconference call with reporters, Mike Willis was sober with reporters about the reality on the ground in Colorado. “There is substantially more cases than being reported.” 

While rural Southeast Colorado has shown few positive cases, the risk is still great, according to Willis, “It’s safe to assume that spread is greater than reported.”

2:15 p.m. | Colorado’s Director of Emergency Management understands frustration by local officials

Mike Willis, answering a question from PULP Colorado, said he “appreciates the frustration” on testing delays by local health officials in Pueblo and around Colorado.

The turnaround for COVID-19 testing results stands between 4 to 7 days. The state lab process around 400 cases a day and private labs process 200 cases a day.

As of Monday, March 24, Colorado has tested 6,224 cases. 

12:45 | National Stockpile supplies arrive in Pueblo

Pueblo Health has reported that Southern Colorado counties have begun to receive shipments from the national stockpile. They include N95 masks, surgical masks, gowns, face shields, and gowns.

Pueblo County received supplies which were distributed to South Region partners in Huerfano, Las Animas, Custer and Fremont counties. The supplies will then be distributed to health care agencies to include hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities and home health.

12:30 p.m. | San Luis Valley Health call for volunteers to make masks

San Luis Valley Health has put out an urgent call for surgical masks and volunteers to help make masks. SLV Health has set-up a team to manage a team of volunteers to coordinate making masks. To volunteer, contact Kelly Gurule / 719-587-5707 / gurulek@slvrmc.org.

10:00 a.m. | Otero County announces first positive COVID-19 case

Richard Ritter, Executive Director for Otero County Health Department, said in a written statement, Otero has received its first positive COVID-19 case. The individual was a woman in her 40s who is in self-quarantine and is now in isolation.

9:15 a.m. | Pueblo County positives stay at 3, no results yet from the mobile lab

In their 9 a.m. email, Pueblo County Department of Public Health and Environment has not received any results from Thursday’s CDPHE lab. 

Pueblo County has 3 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 with no additional cases in the 9 a.m. email.