Health department maintains two-front battle against COVID-19

Staff from Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center assist at the front desk of a COVID-19 vaccination clinic organized by the local health department at the Community Center in Walsenburg Feb. 2, 2021.

by Mark Craddock
OUR WORLD — As evidence continues to mount that the worst of the late-2020 COVID-19 surge has passed, as Las Animas and Huerfano counties both see case counts drop to the point that local restrictions have been eased on the state’s COVID-19 “dial,” the Las Animas-Huerfano Counties District Health Department is maintaining its two-front battle against the pandemic.
The health department is continuing its rollout of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine and continues to conduct community COVID-19 testing sites in both counties.

Today and tomorrow, Feb. 11 and 12, the health department is holding free drive-up community testing from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Las Animas County Justice Center, 2309 E. Main St., Trinidad.  People can pre-register for the testing at: Another testing clinic will be held at the same time and location on Feb. 24-26.

This comes on the heels of similar testing held Feb. 8-9 in Walsenburg, with more dates to be announced.
Meanwhile, the local health department, area hospitals, and health clinics, continue working to complete phases 1A, 1B.1 and 1B.2 of the vaccination program as outlined by the Colorado Department of Public health and Environment.

As of today, providers will be able to vaccinate anyone 65 and over and PreK-12 educators. The health department said it continues to prioritize those that are 70 and over who have not yet received a vaccine.

The state estimates that close to March 5, frontline workers and Coloradans ages 16-64 with two or more high-risk conditions will also be eligible to receive the vaccine. It’s also projected that Coloradans ages 60 and up will also be able to start receiving the vaccine around March 5.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of Wednesday Colorado has received 1,045,000 doses of vaccine. The state has administered 757,560 doses; 542,165 first doses and 211,328 second doses. New Mexico has received 405,500 doses of the vaccine and has administered 346,064 of them; 253,534 first doses and 88,738 second doses.

“Until the vaccine is widely available,” a recent local health department release said, “it is important that everyone, including those who have received the vaccine, continue to follow prevention measures to slow the spread of the virus—wear a mask, practice social distancing, wash hands frequently, and stay home when you are sick.”

In the past week, the local health department reported 32 new COVID-19 cases in Las Animas County.  As of Feb. 8, the county had a total case count of 962, with 48 active cases and 11 deaths.

In the same time period, Huerfano County has seen two new COVID-19 cases.  As of Feb. 8, Huerfano County’s total case count stands at 307, with eight active cases and 18 deaths.

According to the New Mexico Department of Health, Colfax County has recorded 675 cases and 44 deaths.