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2020-09-11 09:27:40


The situations, numbers, website links, data, and etc. described below were current as of Friday 9/11/2020 at approximately 9:00 am.


9/11/2020 Crowley/Otero COVID-19 Update #1

Please take the time to read and understand this entire message.

Internet links: Before I send out each update, I check the links to make sure they are active. However, links do change from time to time, so the links I sent out today may not be the same tomorrow. You may have to search around a bit.

Hello to all. It’s 9/11. We should pause a moment to remember that Tuesday morning in 2001. Wow, it just doesn’t seem like that dreadful day was 19 years ago, but it was. Where were you when it happened? What were you doing? Here is my memory, it’s still very vivid: I received a call from a family member before I went to work that morning telling me to turn on the TV, so I did. Unbelievable. I remember sitting on my couch, staring in stunned disbelief at the tragedies unfolding in real time before me. I really was numb as I struggled to contemplate the ghastly, senseless, violent loss of innocent lives brought about by these heinous acts of terrorism. Unbelievable. The rest of that fateful day, and many of those that followed, were absolutely surreal in nature. Scary, uncertain times to be sure. Difficult and painful as it was, we got through those days. And now fast-forward to today, in the year 2020. The cause may be different, but we are once again facing some difficult, troublesome times, and once again we will get through them.

Below are some COVID-19 updates for you.

1. Swink School: Yesterday (Thursday, 9/10/2020) we received word that a student at Swink School had tested positive to COVID-19. My staff have placed the patient in isolation and have quarantined appropriate contacts. Swink School, grades 7-12, is going to be doing remote learning. This will be tentatively through 9/21/2020. Please closely monitor information that comes directly from Swink School, and you can find that here:

Also, look on the left of the homepage for the link entitled “Info from Superintendent Hebberd”. Please get your information straight from the source!

OCHD staff are working closely with Swink school staff to provide COVID-19 testing to appropriate contacts. Swink school has done a marvelous job of responding in an appropriate and timely manner, and OCHD appreciates that very much! Also, A HUGE thanks to the students and parents that are working with us to stop the spread of COVID-19. We really do recognize this is difficult.

2. Protect Our Neighbors (PON) Phase: As we did with our variance, we will be submitting a PON application for Bent, Crowley, and Otero Counties, working in collaboration with Mr. Omer Tamir, Bent County Public Health Director. The requirements for PON are very stringent, and it will take an “all hands on deck” approach to achieve and maintain PON certification, it’s up to us. You can read more about PON here:

3. Summaries
a. CDPHE COVID-19 Data Webpage:
b. Crowley County (numbers are cumulative)
 Total Cases: 73
 Total COVID Related Deaths: 1
 Change from last update: Zero cases added.
 Facility Outbreaks
o Crowley County Correctional Facility
 Status: Resolved
 Number of prisoners positive for COVID (lab confirmed): 66
 Number of staff positive for COVID (lab confirmed): 4
c. Otero County (numbers are cumulative)
 Total Cases: 83
 Total COVID Related Deaths: 6
 Change from last update: One case added.
 Facility Outbreaks
o Pioneer Healthcare Center
 Status: Active
 Number of residents positive for COVID (lab confirmed): 19
 Number of staff positive for COVID-19 (lab confirmed): 13
 Number of COVID related deaths (lab confirmed): 5
o Lewis Bolt and Nut: I am not including them in this report because I have questions concerning the current CDPHE data, and we are requesting clarification from CDPHE.
d. State of Colorado (numbers are cumulative)
 60,185 cases
 7,186 hospitalized
 63 counties
 760,610 people tested
 1,979 deaths among cases
 1,889 deaths due to COVID-19
 652 outbreaks (view outbreak data:
e. United States (numbers are cumulative)
 Cases: 6,343,562
 Deaths: 190,262
 Website:…/2019-n…/cases-updates/cases-in-us.html

4. What can you do RIGHT NOW?
 Read, understand, and comply with public health orders! Public health orders can be found here:…/public-health-executive-orde…
 Limit workplace violence:…/busines…/limit-workplace-violence.html
 Stay home if you are sick and, if needed, call your medical provider.
 Wear an appropriate mask if you must go out for an essential activity.
 If you are in a high risk group, take extra precautions.
 Cover your cough and/or sneeze.
 Keep your fingers and hands away from your face.
 Wash your hands a lot.
 Stay informed by trusted and reliable sources. Be careful about believing what you read on social media sites. Trusted sources/websites:
o Centers for Disease Control:
o Colorado State Health Department:
 Do these things so you will be prepared, and not scared.
 And remember, “This too shall pass.”

It is up to us.

Richard Ritter, Executive Director
Otero County Health Department
13 West 3rd Street, Room 111
La Junta, Colorado 81050
719-383-3045 (Office)
719-383-3060 (Fax)

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