Please take the time to read and understand this entire message.


Internet links: Before I send out each update, I check the links to make sure they are active. However, links do change from time to time, so the links I sent out today may not be the same tomorrow. You may have to search around a bit.


New COVID-19 positive case


Hello to all. Earlier today I was informed that we have had another laboratory confirmed case in Otero County.


Out of respect for patient privacy, we will only release the following information (No other information will be released at this time):


The patient


o was placed into isolation after receiving the positive test results.


o is a resident of Otero County.


o age: 40s


o has a travel history to an area where community transmission is occurring.


o is recovering.


Our epidemiology investigation into where the patient may have contracted the illness is ongoing.


Crowley/Otero case numbers updates: Our current COVID-19 laboratory-confirmed case counts for Crowley and Otero Counties are as follows (as of the time of this writing Friday, 4/17/2020):


2-Crowley County case (1-deceased)


6-Otero County cases


TOTAL Crowley/Otero Cases: 8


State of Colorado (Note: this summary only includes data through 4 pm 4/15/2020 and does not reflect cases since then)


8,675 cases


1,693 hospitalized


56 counties


41,830 people tested


374 deaths


93 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities


Thanks Dr. Monaghan, of the state health department, for keeping us informed!


Rapid testing coming


Bent, Crowley, and Otero Counties are going to be receiving rapid COVID-19 test kits! These tests can return a result in as little as 20 minutes. Please note, we will only be receiving limited supplies at first, with resupply happening as availability allows. Expect to hear about more positive cases though, as these kits will allow us to test more frequently and quickly.


What can you do RIGHT NOW?


Read, understand, and comply with public health orders! Public health orders can be found here: https://covid19.colorado.gov/stay-home-except-essential-needs


Stay home if you are sick and, if needed, call your medical provider.


Wear an appropriate mask if you must go out for an essential activity.


If you are in a high risk group, take extra precautions.


Cover your cough and/or sneeze.


Keep your fingers and hands away from your face.


Wash your hands a lot.


Stay informed by trusted and reliable sources. Be careful about believing what you read on social media sites. Trusted sources/websites:


o OCHD: https://www.oterogov.com


o Centers for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov


o CO State Health Department: https://www.colorado.gov/cdphe


Do these things so you will be prepared, and not scared.


And remember, “This too shall pass.”


Until next time,


Richard Ritter, Executive Director


Otero County Health Department


13 West 3rd Street, Room 111


La Junta, Colorado 81050


719-383-3045 (Office)


719-383-3060 (Fax)


rritter@oterogov.org