Take advantage of COVID-19 resources before end of public health emergency


By Megan Graham | San Juan Basin Public Health

The federal public health emergency declared in 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic will come to an end on May 11. San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) urges individuals to take advantage of free COVID-19 prevention and testing resources while they are still available.

While the federal public health emergency is ending, we expect COVID-19 to continue to circulate in the community. Last week, there were 15 cases reported in La Plata County and seven cases reported in Archuleta County. Both counties are in Community Level Low.

COVID-19 vaccines are currently free to everyone ages 6 months and older. Vaccines will remain free until the government-purchased supply is depleted. Following that, vaccine cost will likely be dependent on insurance coverage and could create a barrier for uninsured or underinsured individuals. 

COVID-19 vaccines are available at health care providers, local pharmacies and at SJBPH’s offices in Durango and Pagosa Springs. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s vaccine bus will continue to circulate in the region through May 1. You can find the full schedule at https://www.mobilevax.us/southwest.

SJBPH continues to provide free COVID-19 test kits at both offices. Individuals can take up to two test kits per person. Free masks are also available in SJBPH’s office lobbies in Durango and Pagosa Springs.

Continuous enrollment for Medicaid, triggered by the public health emergency, ended on March 31. As a result, normal renewal processes will resume and Medicaid clients will have to be recertified in order to maintain coverage. The recertification packet will be sent to you based on your annual renewal date, so keep an eye out for this important information. If you have any questions, please contact our health coverage guides at SJBPH at (970) 335-2028 or at HIL@sjbpublichealth.org.