124 new COVID-19 cases in Las Animas County, many attributed to prison outbreak; one new case in Huerfano County

(NOTE: This story will be updated when more information is available from the Colorado Department of Correction)

(January 8, 2020)- Public Health has confirmed 124 new positive cases of COVID-19 in Las Animas County and one additional COVID 19 cases in Huerfano County. As of today, Huerfano County has a total case count of 290 with 9 active cases and 18 deaths. Las Animas County has a total case count of 826 with 321 active cases and 6 deaths.

The 124 cases in Las Animas County includes juveniles and individuals ranging in age to their 70s.

The Las Animas-Huerfano Counties District health Department said late Friday that many of these cases are attributed to the Trinidad Correctional Facility in Model.

(UPDATE 1/08, 10 p.m.) As of Jan 4, the Colorado Department of Corrections (CDOC) reported that 13 staff members and 194 inmates at the Trinidad Correctional Facility are currently listed as active COVID-19 cases. CDOC now reports 278 active cases among inmates. However, the department’s web site does not list infected staff members by facility.

(UPDATE 1/11, 11 A.M.) The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reported Jan. 6 that 27 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19, with three additional staff members with probably COVID-19 (not lab confirmed).

The one case in Huerfano County is an individual in their 50s.

Public health nurses are continuing case investigations and are notifying those in close contact.

LAHCDHD is emphasizing stringent precautionary steps to avoid a spike in new cases and to give businesses and schools in both counties a chance to remain open in “Level Orange – High Risk.” The necessary steps that must be taken now by everyone to slow the spread of COVID-19 are:

  • Universal use of face masks
  • Social distancing of at least 6 feet
  • Avoiding nonessential indoor spaces
  • Getting tested if you are symptomatic, think you’ve been exposed, or if you work in a high-contact position
  • Prompt following of quarantine guidance if exposed
  • Protecting people at higher risk of severe illness or death
  • Postponing travel
  • Improving indoor ventilation and hand hygiene
  • Protecting essential workers
  • Getting the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available