Archuleta and La Plata Counties moved to level “medium”

Photo Credit: SJBPH

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) moved Archuleta and La Plata counties from level “High” to “Medium” according to their recently released COVID-19 Community Level Guidance. SJBPH’s recently amended local Public Health Advisory mirrors the CDC guidance based on the COVID-19 Community Level for La Plata and Archuleta counties. 

COVID-19 Community Levels are subject to change based on COVID-19 hospitalization and case incidence metrics. Community guidance for level Medium per the CDC and SJBPH is as follows: 

  • If you are immunocompromised or high risk for severe disease, talk to your healthcare provider about whether you need to wear a mask and take other precautions (e.g., testing). 
  • Have a plan for rapid testing if needed (e.g., having home tests or access to testing). 
  • Talk to your healthcare provider about whether you are a candidate for treatments and therapeutics. 
  • If you have household or social contact with someone at high risk for severe disease, consider self-testing to detect infection before contact and consider wearing a mask when indoors with them. 
  • Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and boosters. 
  • Maintain improved ventilation throughout indoor spaces when possible. 
  • Follow recommendations for isolation and quarantine, including getting tested if you are exposed to COVID-19 or have symptoms of COVID-19. 

“We’re pleased to see our communities moving down to the CDC’s Medium level. We’ve all worked really hard together to achieve this by limiting severe illness and transmission through vaccination and precautions. Many people in the community will continue to mask-up for a wide variety of reasons, whether they’re immunocompromised or at risk for severe illness, parenting an unvaccinated child, or simply to reduce their risk of respiratory infection. As a community we should respect their choice, and we should also keep our masks available if we’re asked to put one on, such as when entering a health care setting or using transportation where it’s required,” said Liane Jollon, Executive Director, SJBPH. 

Last week, the CDC released updated guidance outlining prevention steps based on revised metrics for determining a county’s level of COVID-19 risk. In addition to transmission rates, the CDC now accounts for regional hospital capacity and COVID-19 hospital admissions when determining a county’s risk level. 

The CDC updates its COVID-19 Community Levels once per week. The CDC only advises community wide masking in public indoor spaces in the “High” category. At “Medium,” the CDC recommends that individuals who are high risk for severe infection consult with their healthcare provider about whether they should wear a mask.  

SJBPH emphasizes that the best protection against COVID-19 continues to be overlapping multiple strategies to reduce exposure.  

These strategies include staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccination (including booster shots when available and recommended), wearing a face covering when appropriate, maximizing indoor ventilation, holding social gatherings, organized events and business activities outside when possible, washing your hands, and staying home when you’re sick.   

SJBPH continues to offer free COVID-19 at-home rapid tests and high-quality masks for the public at its offices in Pagosa Springs and Durango. SJBPH has distributed more than 10,000 rapid test kits to community members across Archuleta and La Plata counties in the past week. The iHealth antigen test kits were provided to SJBPH by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and can be self-administered at-home, with results generated in 15 minutes. Up to four test kits (eight tests total) are provided per person while supplies last. Supply is limited and tests will be distributed on a first come, first served basis. If positive for COVID-19, patients should isolate following the guidance on SJBPH’s website. 

At-home test users are encouraged to report positive results by using this online CDPHE portal. Positive results can also be reported to SJBPH directly via email ( or by calling SJBPH at 970-585-6185.   

SJBPH’s Pagosa Springs office is located at 502 S. 8th Street and is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 5 p.m. The SJBPH Durango office is located at 281 Sawyer Drive Suite 300 and is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. A mask is required for entry in SJBPH offices at this time. 

For COVID-19 data, vaccine clinics, testing information, and information about quarantine and isolation guidance please visit the SJBPH website. 

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