At this time, two or more individuals have been confirmed as COVID-19 positive within the football community and are isolating. All football activities have been cancelled until further notice and all football staff have been asked to work remotely. Anyone associated with the football program will be tested for COVID-19 this week.
From Fort Lewis College
Thursday, November 5, 2020
Through a combination of laboratory testing and epidemiological investigation, San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) and Fort Lewis College (FLC) have identified a COVID-19 outbreak at FLC in Durango. At this time, two or more individuals have been confirmed as COVID-19 positive within the football community and are isolating. All football activities have been cancelled until further notice and all football staff have been asked to work remotely. Anyone associated with the football program will be tested for COVID-19 this week.
SJBPH and Fort Lewis College staff took immediate action to limit the further spread of disease. SJBPH and FLC staff have notified close contacts of the individuals who are positive for COVID-19; a close contact is anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting 48 hours (or 2 days) before the person had any symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19. All close contacts have been instructed to quarantine for 14 days. The outbreak investigation is ongoing, and additional cases or contacts may be identified.
In addition, SJBPH is providing infection control guidance to FLC staff members who are providing support with the outbreak investigation and are taking all appropriate measures to stop spread of the virus.
FLC will continue with in-person instruction while closely monitoring these cases and their contacts. FLC has the necessary resources and staff capacity to manage this situation currently. Should FLC have widespread outbreaks that alter their ability to effectively contact trace or exacerbate mitigation resources, FLC will not hesitate to move all course instruction online.
As with any communicable disease, this case investigation will take some time to complete. In order to protect the privacy of the individuals, identifying information and medical information about the persons involved will not be released to the public.
“This outbreak is evidence of ongoing widespread community transmission and a reminder that everyone needs to take urgent action to reduce the spread of this novel virus,”
aid Liane Jollon, executive director of SJBPH. “We hope that with quick action on the part of SJBPH and FLC together, this outbreak will be quickly contained and resolved. It remains critical that people, especially those in close contact with one another, take the virus seriously, reduce their social contacts, wear masks, monitor their symptoms, and get tested if they are feeling any symptoms of COVID-19.”
“FLC is taking all necessary steps to prevent further spread of COVID-19 in our community,” said President Tom Stritikus. “Our students and employees, while vigilant and committed to protecting the health of others, will need to double-down on their virus mitigation strategies to ensure we don’t see more positive cases on campus. We show gratitude for everyone’s hard work on this.”
SJBPH is urging all community members to increase their practice of the following critical public health precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as we head into the winter holiday season:
- staying at home as much as possible, especially when feeling unwell for any reason,
- avoiding social gatherings with more than one household, especially indoors,
- encouraging employees to work from home whenever possible,
- practicing physical distancing (staying at least 6 feet away from another person),
- wearing face coverings when in public, as required,
- practicing good hygiene (washing hands, covering coughs and sneezes, etc.), and
- getting tested if you have symptoms or believe you’ve been exposed through a known contact or community interaction.
COVID-19 diagnostic testing is widely available in both Archuleta and La Plata counties; visit https://sjbpublichealth.org/testing/ to see locations, dates and times. COVID-19 tests are free for FLC employees and students at the drive-thru testing site in the FLC Stadium Lot, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m to 12 p.m. FLC employees and students can register for testing at www.fortlewis.edu/covid19testing.
For the most up to date information, visit SJBPH’s website at https://sjbpublichealth.org/coronavirus/.