First two COVID-19 cases identified in Colorado (updated)

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Published Thursday, March 5, 2020
PICT - Kiowa County Press Icon
by Chris Sorensen

Colorado Governor Jared Polis announced the first two presumptive cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Colorado during a media briefing Thursday evening.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment made the presumptive positive test result for the first COVID-19 case earlier in the day. Results will need to be verified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmation, however CDPHE will handle the case as positives while awaiting CDC results.

Polis described the first case as a man in his 30s who, while outside the state, had contact with a person with a known case of COVID-19. The man sought treatment at a Summit County healthcare facility earlier this week. The man and his fiance are currently isolated. He is said to be recovering and will remain isolated until cleared by health officials.

While preparing for the media briefing, Polis learned of the second presumptive positive case, and did not announce any details about the person. Later in the evening, CDPHE announced that the second person is an elderly woman in Douglas County who returned to Colorado following travel abroad. She is currently isolated.

The first cases of COVID-19 come as little surprise. State agencies have expected cases of the virus to appear in Colorado and have been preparing for weeks to address health needs in coordination with local public health agencies.

Health officials are advising Coloradans to stay informed, take simple disease prevention measures, and prepare. 

  • Practice good hygiene. Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water. In the absence of soap and water, use hand-sanitizer; use your elbow or sleeve to cover coughs and sneezes 
  • Stay home if you're sick; keep your children home if they are sick. The illness can last for many days so  make preparations now to work from home if possible.
  • We advise Coloradans to always be prepared for an emergency-- like a large snowstorm-- and have a plan for your family.  Make sure to have 72 hours of key supplies on hand like medications, infant formula, diapers, pet food, etc. FEMA guidance for pre-pandemic COVID-19 preparedness is available on Ready.gov.
  • Stay informed with reliable, up-to-date information. People who have general questions about coronavirus disease 2019, can call CO HELP at 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911 or email  COHELP@RMPDC.org.

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