San Luis Valley



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The San Luis Valley has been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This website is the result of Community Translation: bringing together community members to discuss the facts and science around the COVID-19 pandemic and COVID-19 vaccines. The stories, designs and messages are the product of this community effort by community members for the community. We hope they are helpful as you consider your own choices, and we hope you will share the website with others.

Why the Calavera?

calavera skullThe Calavera skull is a symbol that is associated with Dia de los Muertos celebrations where families honor their ancestors. The Calavera symbol was an important symbol for our group as it represents honoring the dead who have passed with COVID.

COVID-19 facts you should know

There is less risk of dying if you are fully vaccinated

All but one county in the San Luis Valley have fully vaccinated rates below 65%. Experts estimate we need close to 80% to reach community/herd immunity

An unvaccinated person who had COVID-19 has greater than 6 times the risk of getting infected compared to a vaccinated person who has never been infected (August 2021 data)

Studies so far show that vaccinated people are 8 times less likely to be infected and 25 times less likely to experience hospitalization or death

In Colorado, Hispanics/Latinos have the lowest vaccination rates (11.74% of all immunized Coloradans, with at least one dose, are Hispanics/Latinos even though Hispanics/Latinos comprise 20% of the population)

You can still get and spread COVID-19 at a lower rate when vaccinated, but you're much less likely to be hospitalized or die

US, Canada and UK real world studies show 75-88% effectiveness of Moderna & Pfizer vaccines against symptomatic infection with the Delta variant

COVID vaccines are safe for pregnant moms and their babies

San Luis Valley facts and numbers from the San Luis Valley Public Health Partnership

7 deaths over the summer were vaccinated people in a residential facility. Over the last 90 days, there have been 24 new deaths, 17 from COVID-19

Of people who died with COVID-19 under the age of 80,: only 4 were vaccinated compared to 30 who were unvaccinated

1 in 445 of the total SLV population have died from COVID-19 compared to 1 in 500 in the US

1 in 47 individuals with COVID-19 have died from COVID-19

Since January 1, out of every 10 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, only 1 has been vaccinated

The median age of patients not vaccinated and hospitalized with COVID-19 in the SLV is 60 years old

The median age of patients fully vaccinated and hospitalized with COVID-19 in the SLV is 72.5 years old

Our Stories


The OurStoriesSLVcovid participants

Brenda Almeida
Gilbert Apodoca
Richie Barela
Cristalray Dominquez
Paula Louise Espinosa
Juana Francisco
Jeff Gallegos
Carol Gurule
Lisa Lucero
Juanita Maestas
Eulalia Pablo
Delia Pablo
Chris Riddick
Antonio Sandoval
Jeremy Silva
Maria Villagomez
Oneyda Maestas (Co-facilitator)
Don Nease (Co-facilitator)
David Mendez, MD (medical expert)


Donald Nease, MD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
Ricardo Gonzalez-Fisher, MD
Servicios de La Raza
Ronald Sokol, MD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus