San Juan Basin Public Health: importance of COVID-19 testing and health precautions

SJBPH

As thousands of Archuleta and La Plata county residents receive COVID-19 vaccines, officials at San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) urge locals to continue to practice public health precautions for halting the spread of the virus including testing and quarantine, when appropriate.

As of January 25, 6,351 vaccines have been administered to eligible residents in Archuleta and La Plata counties, meaning that less than 10% of the residents in both counties have been vaccinated. Therefore, many individuals remain susceptible to infection. Even if someone has been vaccinated or has recovered from COVID-19, it is still possible that they may become infected and spread the virus to others. Given these factors, SJBPH is urging everyone to continue to practice proven public health precautions until everyone can be vaccinated.

People who have been vaccinated should follow quarantine guidance if they develop COVID-19 symptoms after getting the vaccine. It can take a few weeks to build immunity after vaccination which means a person could be infected just before or just after vaccination. If an individual has COVID-19 symptoms after getting the vaccine, or at any time, they should contact their health care provider and get tested. Quarantine is not necessary once a person has received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and two weeks have passed after the second dose. People who live or work in high-risk congregate settings may still be required to quarantine, even if fully vaccinated.

“We are so grateful vaccines are being administered to our most vulnerable community members,” said Liane Jollon, SJBPH executive director. “However, vaccines don’t mean we can quickly return to normal. The pandemic is still dangerous, and lives are at stake. As we wait our turn to get vaccinated, testing and public health precautions are critical to save lives, help our businesses stay open, and get schools back to in-person learning.”

SJBPH encourages residents to get tested if they are symptomatic, think they’ve been exposed, or work in a high-contact position. SJBPH provides free COVID-19 testing at the following locations:

  • The Archuleta County Community Testing Site provides testing from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds at 344 U.S. HWY 84 in the all-weather Hughes Pavilion in Pagosa Springs.
  • The La Plata County Community Testing Site provides testing from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Saturday at the La Plata County Fairgrounds, 2500 Main Ave in Durango.
  • The Bayfield Community Testing Site provides testing from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Wednesday and Friday at the Upper Pine Fire Protection District Administration Building, 515 Sower Drive in Bayfield.

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