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Coronavirus in Colorado: Here's the latest on COVID-19

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Posted at 11:32 AM, Mar 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-10 23:57:59-04

Editor's Note: The number of cases of COVID-19 keeps growing as the new virus spreads throughout the state. Click here for the latest updates.

State health officials on Thursday afternoon said two people in Colorado had tested positive for COVID-19, marking the first two cases of the novel coronavirus in the state. That number rose to eight by Friday. On Monday, the number rose to 12.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment are tracking the number of people tested for COVID-19, as well the tests that came back negative. The numbers below are calculated by the CDC and DPHE, which began counting on Jan. 23, 2020. They will update these numbers on weekdays.

Possible COVD-19 cases tested: 298

Positive COVD-19 cases: 12

Indeterminate COVD-19 cases: 1

A man in Summit County tested "presumptive" positive at the state level, and the case was sent to the Centers for Disease Control for official confirmation. The individual, only identified as a man in his 30s from California who was staying at a condo in Keystone, was the first case in the state. Officials identified another case in Douglas County on Thursday and on Friday, officials in Denver identified the first COVID-19 cases in the city: A man in his 40s who had recently traveled from Vancouver and is a parent of a student at St. Anne's Episcopal School in Denver tested "presumptive positive" for the virus. The second positive patient Friday in Denver is a woman in her 70s, according to the CDPHE. She was exposed during international travel.

Three cases from Douglas County were also reported as "presumptive positives":

  • A school-aged female (under 18) from Highlands Ranch who was exposed during international travel from a trip to Philippines. The student did not attend classes after returning from Philippines. She's in isolation in her home.
  • A woman in her 40s from Castle Rock who was exposed during international travel to Italy. She is in isolation at her home.
  • A woman in her 70s in Castle Rock who was exposed during international travel.

In Eagle County, a woman in her 50s who was exposed during international travel.

A man in his 40s tested presumptive positive in El Paso County. El Paso County Public Health officials said the man who tested positive immediately self-isolated when he began to show symptoms. His immediate family members are also quarantined. Health officials are now working to identify people he was in close contact with, and will contact anyone necessary to talk about their risk.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said Monday, March 9, that a ninth person had come back as "presumptive positive" for COVID-19 — a woman in her 50s in Larimer County who has been diagnosed with pneumonia.

“CDPHE and local health agencies are working to gather more information and contact any individuals who have had close contact with the patient. The investigation is just beginning and more information will be released as it becomes available.”

By 8 p.m. Monday, three more presumptive positive cases and one indeterminate case of COVID-19 – in addition to the Larimer County case announced Monday morning – have been confirmed in Colorado, making that four presumptive positive cases and one indeterminate case announced on Monday. There are now 284 negative tests in Colorado, 12 presumptive positive cases and the lone indeterminate case.

Negative COVD-19 cases: 284

Details on other cases

The Grand County Office of Emergency Management said via a Facebook post on March 5 that a person in the county was suspected of having contracted the novel coronavirus. The following day, officials said coronavirus had been ruled out.

In addition, two people — a federal employee with the Office of Natural Resources Revenue in Denver and a substitute teacher in Lafayette — have decided to self-quarantine themselves after they were notified they may have been exposed. Both people began self-quarantining in early March.

On March 7, parents of students at Denver's East High School received a letter explaining that two if the high school's students self-quarantined after they had been in contact with one of the people in Colorado who has tested presumptive positive for COVID-19, according to a letter to parents Saturday.

School and health officials have cleared Ranch View Middle School in Highlands Ranch for potential exposure to COVID-19, according to a letter home to parents on March 8.

Also on March 8, officials said they were aware of a confirmed COVID-19 case in Australia with ties to the Aspen community. One woman in her 20s who was visiting Aspen returned home to Australia earlier this week, where she tested positive for the coronavirus. The individual had contact with Aspen residents and visitors at social gatherings; some of the people who had contact with the woman have reported experiencing respiratory symptoms. The DPHE said Pitkin County health officials are working on a plan to get symptomatic people tested.

More information on COVID-19

Symptoms of 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.

What can the most at-risk people do to avoid COVID-19?

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19, though on Thursday, the Senate passed a $7.8 billion bill to battle this coronavirus outbreak to speed up the development of vaccines and new medicines to battle the virus, pay for containment operations, and beef up preparedness.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, on Monday, March 9, asked the state Division of Insurance to issue formal guidance to health insurance carriers in the state to promote telehealth services and to waive co-pays, deductibles, coinsurance and cost-sharing for people to be tested for COVID-19.

That same day, the city of Denver partially activated its Emergency Operations Center to analyze, plan and respond to the outbreak.

The CDC said the best way to prevent the virus is to avoid close contact with sick people, keep your hands away from your face, cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough, disinfect items you frequently touch, wash your hands often — essentially, what you would do during the flu season.

READ MORE: Colorado "prepared as possible" for coronavirus, Polis says, as state ramps up emergency plans

It’s important to note the difference between coronaviruses and COVID-19. Currently, there are many kinds of coronaviruses — like the common cold — in Colorado and beyond. On the other hand, this novel coronavirus, called COVID-19 is brand new. People have never been sick from this specific virus before. CDC said the actual virus is called SARS-CoV-2 and the disease it causes is called coronavirus disease 2019, also known as COVID-19.

COVID-19 was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province in China in late January. It has since spread to almost 70 locations around the world, according to the CDC. John Hopkins University is tracking the international number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, deaths and recoveries, which can be seen here.

Do you have more questions on COVID-19? Call 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911 to reach the DPHE.

For the latest local, national and worldwide news on COVID-19, click here.