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2020-09-18 11:16:35


The situations, numbers, website links, data, and etc. described below were current as of Friday 9/18/2020 at approximately 11:00 am.


9/18/2020 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, below are some COVID-19 updates for you.

1. Swink School Update: Last week we began working with Swink School District in relation to a student testing positive to COVID-19. To date, we have identified 2 students with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19. On Wednesday, 9/16/2020 OCHD staff, working in close cooperation with Swink School personnel, collected samples for COVID-19 testing. This was done at Swink School. About 40 people were swabbed. My staff told me that it went very well, and they appreciated the kind demeanor of those tested and the cooperation and assistance from Swink School. Earlier this morning we received the results of those tests, and I am very pleased to report to you that there were NO positives! Good news to head into our weekend.

Please closely monitor information that comes directly from Swink School, and you can find that here:

Also, look on the homepage for the link entitled “Info from Superintendent Hebberd”. Make sure to get your information straight from the source!

2. Face Covering Executive Order Extended: Please find attached Executive Order D 2020 190 (the first attachment), which extends the face covering mandate 30 days from 9/12/2020.

3. New Dial Framework: The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has implemented a new, online instrument to track the position and progress of counties in relation to current protective phases. According to CDPHE Fast Facts:
 Colorado’s dial framework has five levels to guide county response to COVID-19.
 Counties move back and forth between levels, depending on three metrics.
 Levels are based on the number of new cases, the percent positivity of COVID tests, the impact on hospitals, and local considerations. As the dial moves left, toward Protect Our Neighbors, more people can participate in various activities.
 This framework gives communities a new tool to make life in the pandemic more sustainable.

The dial’s webpage can be found here:

The COVID-19 dial dashboard, where you can view individual county levels, is located here:…/covi…/covid-19-dial-dashboard

I have attached (the second attachment) Public Health Order 20-35, which involves the dial.

4. Protect Our Neighbors (PON) Phase: The application for Bent, Crowley, and Otero PON certification has been completed, and we are awaiting letters of support from the required stakeholders. PON certification requires support letter from the following:

 Hospitals;
 Local Public Health Agency (LPHA) directors;
 County Commissioners;
 Sheriff;
 Local Police Departments;
 Mayors;
 Emergency Managers; &
 Local Tribes (if applicable).

It is my hope to get support letters back by early next week and then submit the application online to CDPHE by mid-week. As of the time of this writing, we currently qualify for certification. This can change rapidly, though, so please continue to do your part (i.e. wearing a mask, social distancing, staying home if sick, etc.) to keep COVID-19 cases as low as possible. It is up to us. You can read more about PON here:

5. Fall Sports Approval: The state of Colorado has approved outdoor fall sports for schools. Go to this website for the full story and for many more details:…/3011-state-approves-chsaa-reques…
Please note this quote directly from the aforementioned webpage: “If a community falls out of compliance, and enters Level 3 in the Safer at Home Public Health Order 20-35, the approval will be re-evaluated and may be rescinded in that community.” The “Level 3” mentioned is a reference to the new dial framework that has been instituted and described in # 3 above. It’s great that our kids can have the opportunity to participate in sports now, so let’s do our part collectively to ensure we do not end up in level 3 and possibly have this rescinded. Let’s keep them playing. It’s up to us.

6. Summaries
a. CDPHE COVID-19 Data Webpage:
b. Crowley County (numbers are cumulative)
 Total Cases: 73
o Change from last update: Zero cases added.
 Total COVID Related Deaths: 1
 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: 86
o Change from last update: 3 cases added
 Total COVID Related Deaths: 6
 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:
 Status: Active
 Number of staff positive for COVID-19 (lab confirmed): 3
 Number of staff with probable COVID-19 (NOT lab confirmed): 9
d. State of Colorado (numbers are cumulative) (
 63,145 cases
 7,327 hospitalized
 63 counties
 804,767 people tested
 2,006 deaths among cases
 1,911 deaths due to COVID-19
 684 outbreaks (view outbreak data:
e. United States (numbers are cumulative)
 Total Cases: 6,613,331
 Total Deaths: 196,277
 Website:…/2019-n…/cases-updates/cases-in-us.html

7. 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 Otero County Health Department (OCHD):
o Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
o Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE):
 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)

Home | Colorado COVID-19 Updates

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