Las Animas County saw its most aggressive spike yet in COVID-19 cases with 21 new infections being reported by the district health department.

The county has now recorded 121 cases with 77 currently active.

Said the health department, “The 21 cases in Las Animas include individuals from an infant up to 70 years old. All individuals are experiencing symptoms.”

At least nine of the new confirmed cases have come from the Trinidad State campus in Trinidad. In response the college announced late Monday that it would be pivoting to remote instruction at least through the Thanksgiving holiday.

The announcement from Trinidad State comes on the heels of City Hall closing down following two reported cases there (reported in Tuesday’s Chronicle-News). Other outbreaks (two, or more confirmed cases) can be found at Hoehne schools (two cases) and Head Start in Trinidad (two cases).

Said Trinidad State President Rhonda Epper, “As you have seen via recent COVID-19 updates, the Trinidad Campus has been affected by several positive cases over the past few days. Initially the cases involved only one cohort or ‘family unit’ within athletics.  Today two students from different cohorts tested positive. Out of an abundance of caution and in the interest of student and employee health, the leadership team has made a decision to transition the Trinidad campus to remote learning through the Thanksgiving holiday.

“We do not make this decision lightly. We recognize the importance and value of an in-person college experience, and have worked diligently over these past months to provide such a learning environment…”

Said the Las Animas Huerfano Counties District Health Department of the spike in cases within the county, “This is more than we have seen since the start of this pandemic. From March through September Las Animas County had 27 confirmed cases. We are at a critical point in Las Animas County and need the help of the community. Las Animas County is in mitigation with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). Las Animas County is out of compliance in two of the three metrics on the COVID Dial. Currently we are at Safer at Home 1 and CDPHE is working with us on our mitigation plan to prevent Las Animas County from moving back on the dial.”

Additional preventative measures suggested by the department include:

— Reduce how often you socialize with non-household members

—  Informal gatherings are limited to 10, but consider limiting activities to household members only

— Work from home if possible

— Stay home when you are sick, even if you only have a minor symptom

— Wear a mask, good hand hygiene and social distancing.

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