PUBLIC HEALTH MATTERS - Newsletter from Otero County Health Dept. 3/15/23

Description: Federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Declaration Ending; Colorado Health Access Survey (CHAS); Recall/Outbreak Information; Mental/Behavioral Health Resources; Emergency Preparedness Resources...

Published: 03/15/2023
Byline: SECO News


Federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Declaration Ending; Colorado Health Access Survey (CHAS); Recall/Outbreak Information; Mental/Behavioral Health Resources; Emergency Preparedness Resources

The situations, numbers, website links, data, and etc. described below were current as of Wednesday 3/15/2023 at 12:13 pm


Please take the time to read and understand this entire message.

Internet links:  Before I send out these emails, I check the links to make sure they are active.  However, links do change from time to time, so the link(s) I sent out now may not be the same later.

1.      Federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Declaration Ending:  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) “is planning for the federal Public Health Emergency (PHE) for COVID-19, declared under Section 319 of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act, to expire at the end of the day on May 11, 2023.”  You can read more about this on the HHS website here:  COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) |

On 2/9/2023 HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra sent a letter to the state governors providing some details about the end of the public health emergency declaration, you can check out that letter here:  Letter to U.S. Governors from HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra on renewing COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) |

I received an email from the Colorado Department of Public health and Environment (CDPHE) which read, in part, as follows:  “… certain aspects of Colorado’s COVID-19 response that will change when we no longer have access to the Federal Emergency Management Agency funding, which was made available as a result of the federal public health emergency.

Once the public health emergency ends, Colorado’s COVID-19 Emergency Response will cease, with existing funds covering state functions related to ongoing COVID-19 needs.

•          As a result, federally funded mobile vaccine units will end. After May 11, CDPHE aims to continue providing mobile vaccination coverage using alternative funding sources.

•          Free rapid tests will no longer be available at statewide distribution sites after the end of the public health emergency.

•          Long-term and residential care facilities can expect to return to normal operations after the end of the public health emergency as federally supported COVID-19 testing is no longer available.

Stay tuned for more info as it becomes available.

2.      Colorado Health Access Survey (CHAS):  Our friends from the Colorado Health Institute (CHI) wanted me to share the following information with you:  Be on the lookout for the CHAS! The Colorado Health Access Survey (CHAS) is conducted every other year to measure the health of Coloradans, their interactions with the health care system, and the impact of major health care policy developments. More than 10,000 households are surveyed anonymously to gather a representative sample of Colorado’s regions and population. The Colorado Health Institute (CHI) administers the CHAS through its survey vendor, NORC. CHI will be sending invitations and reminders by mail and email, with instructions to complete the survey online or by phone, to a random sample of Coloradans beginning in April 2023. If you receive the survey, please consider completing it. Please spread the word among your networks as well. More information is here:

3.      Recall/Outbreak Information:  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have websites dedicated to recall and outbreak information.  You can find that important information below: 

a.       Food

                                                                i.      CDC:  List of Multistate Foodborne Outbreak Notices | CDC

                                                              ii.      FDA:  Public Health Advisories from Investigations of Foodborne Illness Outbreaks | FDA

b.      Drugs, Animal Health, Biologics, Medical Devices, Cosmetics

                                                                i.      FDA:  Additional Information about Recalls | FDA

4.      Mental/Behavioral Health Resources

a.       988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline Number:  This simple 3 digit phone number 988 will route callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.  The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress along with prevention and crisis resources.  Please help SPREAD THE WORD (or NUMBER in this case).  You can read more about 988 here:  Lifeline (

b.      Veterans’ Crisis Line:  Home (

c.       The Coffee Break Project:  Mental Health Resources for Agriculture | The Coffee Break Project | Rocky Ford

5.      Emergency Preparedness Resources

a.  Plan Ahead for Disasters |

b.      Crowley County Code Red Emergency Notification System:  Community Notification Enrollment (

c.       Otero County Code Red Emergency Notification System:  Community Notification Enrollment (

Richard Ritter, Executive Director

Otero County Health Department

13 West 3rd Street, Room 111

La Junta, Colorado 81050

719-383-3045 (Office)

719-383-3060 (Fax)

Health Department | Otero County (


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