DENVER (CBS4) – State health officials say they’re preparing as the coronavirus epidemic continues to reach new parts of the world. However, they are emphasizing Coloradans are safe.
“Our public health system and our health care partners are used to working together and preparing together. We have protocols in place, and we have the tools we need. We have the relationships we need,” said Dr. Rachel Herlihy, the Communicable Disease Epidemiologist for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
The CDPHE has been working with local agencies and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention since last month preparing for possible infections in Colorado.
“I think we still have a lot to learn about this virus as far as how transmissible it might be, and how severe it might be, and a lot of that will inform our response,” Herlihy said. “I think we’re really still trying to get more reliable estimates of those transmission factors and severity factors.”
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Four tests are awaiting results, but Colorado has seen 12 tests come back negative. The nearest state with a confirmed coronavirus test is Arizona. Some of those suffering with coronavirus have been taken to Nebraska for treatment.
“There are lots of the everyday actions we do to protect ourselves from respiratory infection. So that’s things like staying home if you’re sick, avoiding people who have flu or cold-like symptoms. Covering your cough, washing your hands frequently,” Herlihy said. “I think at this point we really just want people to stay current on information and really follow what the health department and the CDC is recommending.”
The state set up a hotline at (303) 389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911 and an email COHelp@rmpdc.org for people to ask questions about coronavirus. Also, a webpage has been established with a plethora of information.