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2 new cases of novel coronavirus reported in Denver, city says

Posted: 2:56 PM, Mar 06, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-06 23:50:08-05
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Editor's note: The number of cases of COVID-19 across the state continues to climb. Click here for the latest novel coronavirus numbers as well as updates from state health officials

DENVER — Denver health officials on Friday said two city residents who recently returned from out-of-state travel have tested positive for the novel coronavirus — the first cases involving Denver residents — and several others have been quarantined.

The two residents who tested positive were showing symptoms of the virus but weren't yet requiring hospitalization, according to Denver Health and Public Environment. They tested positive through the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment testing. The cases are considered "presumptive positive" until confirmed by tests from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Denver health officials in a news conference Friday said the positive cases were separate but that both patients recently returned from out-of-state travel — one from Vancouver, Canada, and one from a cruise ship, though officials did not say where the cruise had gone.

One patient is the parent of a student at St. Anne's Episcopal School in Denver. The school said Friday that it sent students home early to disinfect the school but that the parent had not been to the school in the last month. The student was not showing symptoms, officials said, but the patient and their family were placed in quarantine at their home Friday.

The second positive patient Friday was described by officials as being in the older risk category but their exact age was not given.

More information about the two patients who tested positive was not released. The total number of people who are being quarantined in Denver, but officials said it was less than a dozen.

The Denver cases bring the total number of presumptive positive cases in Colorado to five. A patient in El Paso County tested positive Friday, officials said. A man who was visiting Summit County and a woman in Douglas County also tested positive this week, officials announced Thursday.

At least 94 people in Colorado have been tested for COVID-19, but only the four positive cases have been reported.

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Coronavirus in Colorado: Your questions answered

Symptoms for COVID-19 includes fever, cough and shortness of breath, and usually shows up two to 14 days after exposure, according to the DPHE. If you are healthy, there is no need to wear a face mask, DPHE said. While your dog or cat can't pass COVID-19 to people, they can catch it from their owners and test positive for it.

Across the nation, the more severe cases typically involved the elderly and people with health conditions. People over the age of 80 are at a much larger risk of death, as high as 15% compared to 0.4% for someone under the age of 40. Children appear to be unaffected as of now. Certain conditions, including cardiovascular issues, heart disease and diabetes can put you at a higher risk as well, officials said. The University of Colorado Cancer Center released an article on how cancer patients can avoid COVID-19. If you are elderly or ill, officials said you should avoid unnecessary travel and unnecessary medical visits in addition to normal precautions.