Thank you to San Juan County for its COVID response

We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the members of the Public Health Department of San Juan County who have been working tirelessly for well over a year to provide the framework for keeping all of us safe and healthy.

In January 2020, as soon as the first whispers of a strange new virus raising its head in China were filtering in, our Public Health officials were immediately on red alert. They monitored the evolving situation and began to lay the groundwork needed for worst-case scenarios here in San Juan County. From working to procure PPE and coordinating with the school districts, to making arrangements to turn Turnbull Gym into a COVID-hospital if necessary, working to communicate every update and refinement in a timely and clear way to the community and now into organizing a rollout of vaccines despite the unpredictability of supplies, these officials have put every ounce of their spirit and energy into their work on our behalf. They have been constantly required to find the balance between successful prevention, hysterical overreaction and risky inaction, all the while knowing that no recommendation they make will be universally agreed with or acted upon. They have watched the community interpret their guidance along with politicized responses and have held their breath that all their work has not been in vain as the race between vaccines and variants heats up.

We would also like to acknowledge the load that the families of our Public Health team have borne on our behalf as well. The children, spouses, partners, and all who love and rely on these folks to be functioning family members have had to recalibrate their lives and schedules as this work has kept their loved ones working through weekends, evenings, early mornings and foreign time zones, non-stop and with no breaks. Without a doubt, it has been an exhausting year for all of them too.

However we each feel about the ongoing recommendations from the Health Department, we all owe them each a debt of gratitude for putting so much of their own personal lives on hold while navigating all the twists and turns of the pandemic on our behalf. San Juan County has been, and remains, one of the safest counties in the nation and it is thanks to these hard-working public servants who have led the way.

Thanks to you, Health Officer Dr. Frank James; Incident Commander Kyle Dodd; Operations Section Chief Ellen Wilcox; Liaison Mark Tompkins; Public Information Officer Brendan Cowan; Surveillance and Immunization Branch Director/Deputy Director Steph Stookey; and to the over 100 staff and volunteers, and community agency colleagues who have been working around the clock for us!

Penelope Haskew and Nicholas Power; Chiara and Alison Power; Val Curtis; Traci Wilson; Suzanne Bryner; Heidi White; Maude Cumming; Gretchen Krampf; Morgan Johnston; Kerry Andrews; Scott Zehner; Jennifer Herda; Tanja and Steve Williamson; Peter Lane, Josephine Lane and Eli Lane; RaVae Luckhart and Jack Rice; Lisa Lamoreaux; Libbey H.; Pearl Schuman; Susan Singleton; Bill and Rudi Weissinger; Joyce L. Sobel Family Resource Center; Ranna McNeil and Robert Dash; Taylor DePamphilis; Paula West; Winnie Brumsickle; Joe Miller & Dana Roberts; Kristine Brown; Kandis Susol; Delphina Liles; Nancy and Lewis Spaulding; Caroline Buchanan; Bonita Diemoz; Jeffrey U.; Julie Weaver; Sondra Bayley; Mark Gardner; Victoria Compton; Rich and Alayne Goodhart; Malinda Dreyer; Robin Meyer; Gigi Zakula; Laura and Sammy Long; Steve Judson; Nathan Kessler-Jeffrey; Patty Francisco; Daniel, Callie and Danielle McKay; Jake Perrine; Madelyn and Dennis Busse; Wendy Waxman Kern; Rowan Buckton; David Bentley; Sandra May; Laurie Orton; Jean Agapoff; Hugh Everett; Jim and Jan Zurcher; Pete Kuentzel; Chris and Betsy Pope; Laura Bauer; Alison Johnston; Amanda Smith; Joy Van Camp and Bruce Rebhan; Sharron Kick; Diane Martindale; Steve Bowman; Georgann Greene; Kathleen Foley Lewis; Cheryl Peach; Eduardo Fausti; Knowle Hanson; Alice Acheson; Mary WillAllen; Arne and Judy Bentzen; Shona Aitken; John Christensen; Mike and Trudy Loucks; Anna; Lynda Guernsey; Missy and Randy Martin; Marsha McAllister; Chanda D. Stone; Marcella Ramirez; Pedro Mena; Paul and Marty Ahart; Barbara Von Gehr; Bo Turnage; The Melville Family; Cole Arendt; Shannon and Jason Miniken; Teddy and Alice Deane; Terry Ogle; Julie Laidlaw; Shannon Kelley; Bridget Nyberg; The Huntemer Family; Tom Small; Elliot Burch and Sara Hiebert Burch; Carmen Orozco; Maria Michaelson; Amy Harold; Amy J. Wynn; Denise Steinbrueck; Tom Howarth; Gerry Newcomb; Patti Bair, R.N., ret.; Sherry Bell; Martha Alvarado and Reyes Valencia; Eileen Drath; David Meiland; and Bruce Clark

San Juan County residents