RIO GRANDE COUNTY — Rio Grande joins countless counties throughout the state this week in a status change on the state’s COVID-19 dial. Almost all counties in Colorado moved to lesser restrictions over the weekend per an order that was announced by Gov. Jared Polis. Rio Grande County and a majority of counties in the San Luis Valley moved to Yellow on the COVID-19 dial beginning Saturday, Feb. 6.
According to the report provided by the Rio Grande County Public Health Department it states that businesses in the county will be able to operate at 50% capacity or host up to 50 people in an establishment, whichever is the lesser number.
The county is currently at 27 active cases which is a large decrease from the previous 50 cases that was reported at the end of January. The county has also completed 716 cumulative doses till date, with total first COVID Vaccine doses at 646 and second doses at 70.
“We continue to collaborate with Rio Grande Hospital to conduct as many large vaccination clinics as we can as quickly as possible. As long as we receive adequate shipments of vaccines, we are hoping to host one every Friday in February. When vaccine eligibility opens up to educators and those 65-69 (2-8-21), we need to move from bi-weekly to weekly in order to administer the vaccine,” said Rio Grande County Public Health Department Director Dr. Bankole.
Last Friday, Feb. 5, the public health department, the Rio Grande Hospital and other health officials held another mass vaccination clinic and were able to administer a total of 435, with 325 first doses and 110 second doses to people 70 and older.
Rio Grande County Public Health Director Dr. Kolawole Bankole stated in his report that the clinic and the hospital hope to see an increase in vaccine doses coming to the Valley this week.
“What we have coming down the pipeline — as long as everything is confirmed by Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, we are expecting up to 100 first doses in the pipeline for this coming week,” Bankole said.
Health officials are also still working on testing strategies and targeted testing continues at SLV Health, Valley Wide Health Systems, Rio Grande Hospital and Rio Grande Hospital Clinics.
“Rio Grande Public Health is partnering with Rio Grande Hospital to order the diagnostic COVID tests they need to complete target testing objectives in coming days,” Bankole said.
For more information or to read specific guidelines for Rio Grande County, please visit www.riograndecounty.org