News Flash

City of Durango News Flash

Posted on: March 16, 2020

San Juan Basin Public Health, La Plata County, City of Durango Declare Local Public Health Emergency

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San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) has declared a Local Public Health Emergency to protect the health of community members most at risk of severe illness due to novel coronavirus (COVID-19). This proclamation will allow SJBPH to put additional protective social distancing measures in place, such as canceling large public events, since these measures are the most effective strategy against the spread of COVID-19.

La Plata County has also made a local emergency declaration, in order to access assistance in responding to and recovering from the COVID-19 disruption to the La Plata County community. This prepares La Plata County to support public health partners in mitigating the spread of the novel coronavirus as well as the interruption the pandemic has caused to the community in terms of work and school attendance, community and public events, community services and local economic activity.

The City of Durango has also issued a local emergency declaration to assist with this disruption, and is taking proactive mitigation efforts to ensure staff and community members are not exposed to or contributing to the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), as recommended by San Juan Basin Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You can stay up to date on City of Durango facility closures and meeting modifications by visiting

SJBPH is working closely with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prepare for a possible case of COVID-19 in the counties we serve. SJBPH continues to coordinate with local healthcare providers and other partners to take action to prevent the spread of disease and protect the public’s health.

“Protecting the health of La Plata and Archuleta residents is the highest priority for San Juan Basin Public Health and this public health emergency declaration allows us to take further action to protect our most at-risk community members,” said SJBPH Executive Director Liane Jollon. “Social distancing is the most effective tool we have to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and will especially help to protect those most vulnerable to the disease.”

Community members should contact their healthcare providers via phone if they have symptoms such as fever and cough. People who are worried about this, or any respiratory virus, like the flu, can protect themselves by practicing everyday actions and social distancing strategies:

  • Cleaning hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub
  • Covering nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing
  • Avoiding close contact with anyone who has cold or flu-like symptoms
  • Getting a flu shot if you haven’t yet gotten one
  • Don’t shake hands or hug - bump elbows instead
  • Increase distance between people to six feet apart
  • Follow CDC guidelines on travel
  • Discourage children and teens from gathering in other public places if school is closed.
  • If you are sick, stay home or get treatment from your doctor (call ahead), and stay away from others.
  • If you are well, stay away from others who are sick.

For the most up to date information visit SJBPH’s website: Other helpful resources:

San Juan Basin Public Health is a local public health agency, governed by a seven-member local Board of Health, serving all residents of La Plata and Archuleta counties. For over 70 years, San Juan Basin Public Health has improved the health and environment of the Southwest Colorado community.

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