San Juan County is still ranked as one of the safest counties in the state with a low number of cases. It is thanks to the cooperation and care of our public health department, county council, department of emergency management, medical facilities and business owners and residents that we are keeping each other protected.
We would like to take this time to applaud San Juan County Public Health Officer Frank James, MD, for his diligence, thoughtfulness and fair approach in advising the county council on all matters related to COVID-19.
It definitely hasn’t been a cakewalk for Dr. James. He has endured public criticism and immense pressure from community members with a wide variety of opinions — some of them extremely unfair. As he has noted, he never asked for the responsibility that has been thrust upon him in the past few months.
Through it all, Dr. James has approached his decision-making with logic, based on the best available science, and with a deep commitment to the citizens of this county. He has the enormously difficult task of meeting both the requirements of public safety and the needs of local commerce. We thank him for his dedication and his love of the community.
As we enter into a modified Phase Three, we’d like to remind everyone that this pandemic is far from over. As we watch our isolated islands become flooded with tourists again, we can’t help but feel apprehension about the months to come. We cannot disregard what Dr. James and the county have done such a skilled job of promoting: wear masks, maintaining social distance, wash your hands and limit your exposure to large groups of people.