Department of Public Health and Environment
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Health Department and National Guard to Conduct County Coronavirus Testing Tuesday
CONTACT: Susan Lilly, Public Information Officer, San Miguel County
(March 16, 2020) -- San Miguel County, CO – The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has selected San Miguel County for a surveillance site to collect COVID-19 (coronavirus) testing data and have enlisted the help of the Colorado National Guard.
Tests will be conducted tomorrow (Tuesday) in Lawson Hill outside Telluride. One hundred county residents were carefully selected to be tested based on various risk factors, symptoms, and state requirements for data collection. Providers from Telluride Medical Center (TMC), Uncompahgre Medical Center and Basin Clinic coordinated in the selection process.
Please note: you may not request the test through your provider or in person at the testing site.
“People should not feel excluded from this testing effort. If we could test more people, we would, but test availability is extremely limited here and around the country,” Dr. Diana Koelliker, Director of Emergency Services at TMC said. “Basically, if you have a cold, cough or a fever, we want you to assume you have coronavirus, self-isolate for 14 days, and treat your symptoms.”
County Medical Officer Dr. Sharon Grundy said testing in general in San Miguel County is limited. “We, not unlike other counties, are being extremely judicious in who we test because replacement testing kits are in short supply.”
Doctors Koelliker and Grundy offered these guidelines:
- If you have symptoms and you are otherwise healthy, self-isolate for 14 days and treat your symptoms.
- If you have symptoms and you are high-risk (over 65 years-old, have a pre-existing condition such as heart, kidney or lung disease, or are immune-compromised), call your provider (or use patient portal if one is available).
- If you are asymptomatic but have had contact with someone who is sick, you will not be tested and you do not require medical care. Instead, you should self-quarantine for 14 days to see if you develop symptoms.
- If you are asymptomatic, you will not be tested and do not require medical care. Avoid contact with sick people, limit exposure in public places and continue best practices to do your part to prevent the spread of Covid-19 (coronavirus).
The Lawson Hill testing site on the county-owned lot was selected by San Miguel County Sheriff Bill Masters based on National Guard requirements including size and safety. “There is no threat to public health or safety,” Sheriff Masters said. “We need people to calm down and come together.”
Approximately 70 people from CDPHE and the National Guard are in town to conduct the testing, with an additional dozen county officials assisting in the site efforts.
For more information and to sign up for Coronavirus email alerts, go to sanmiguelcountyco.gov/coronavirus
To protect and preserve the health and environment by providing high-quality public health care services and environmental protection services to the people of San Miguel County.