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Antigen tests and KN-95 masks available in Montezuma County

Southwest Health System, the Montezuma County Health Department and San Juan Basin Public Health are distributing KN-95 masks. (Photo by Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via AP)
Rollout part of larger statewide and national initiative to slow spread of COVID-19

Free surgical and KN-95 masks are available for pickup in Montezuma County, including at Southwest Health System, which also offers free at-home antigen test kits, the system’s retail pharmacy announced Tuesday.

In line with a statewide and national initiative to slow the spread of COVID-19 amid the omicron variant, the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management has provided the masks.

The retail pharmacy, at 1311 N. Mildred Road, is allowing two test kit boxes and five masks per person, while supplies lasts.

‘How to Make Five N-95 Masks Last For 25 Days’

The library based its guidelines on an NPR interview with Anne Miller of Project N95.

“Here is how to use the "brown bag method" to safely decontaminate & reuse N-95 masks:

– Use a pen or fine marker to label each mask with one day of the week: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.

– Label five paper bags, each with one day of the week.

– When you're done with the mask labeled for that day, place it in the corresponding paper bag and store in a cool, dry place.

– Use this mask again, the same day next week.

– Do this for up to five uses.

– Five masks should last 25 days.“

Each test kit contains two tests, and any combination of surgical and KN-95 masks may be chosen.

For questions, call 970-564-2280.

Southwest Memorial saw a 38.5% positivity rate out of about 300 tests Jan. 17 through Jan. 21, the highest percentage yet for the hospital, Marc Meyer, director of pharmacy services and infection control at Southwest Health System, told The Journal Monday.

A Facebook Live information session Wednesday afternoon will be the third Southwest Health has hosted this month regarding COVID-19.

The Montezuma County Health Department is offering up to five procedure masks per person, also on a first come, first served basis.

They are available for pickup 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 106 W. North St. in Cortez.

San Juan Basin Public Health is also offering masks at the SJBPH offices in Durango and Pagosa Springs.

Statewide redistribution points, including many libraries, were allotted masks. The Dolores Public Library has surgical masks, and expects to receive K-95 masks soon, Executive Director Sean Gantt said. The Mancos Public Library has 3M-95 masks, along with guidelines about how to make five masks last for 25 days.

The Cortez Public Library announced on Facebook last week that it ran out of N-95 masks.