DENVER (CBS4)– The first and second cases of coronavirus in Colorado have been confirmed. Gov. Jared Polis announced the first presumptive case on Thursday afternoon along with a second presumptive case that is not related to the first case.
#BREAKING: We have learned of the first presumptive positive case of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Colorado.
We are diligently managing this situation and will be holding a press conference to update Coloradans with the latest at 4:45. You can watch it live on my Facebook page. pic.twitter.com/D75zji8RBx
— Governor Jared Polis (@GovofCO) March 5, 2020
It’s called presumptive because the results are from a state test and it will be sent to the Centers for Disease Control for official confirmation. The case is an out-of-state visitor to Summit County who is described as a male in his 30s.READ MORE: Some Evacuations Ordered For Miners Candle Fire Near Dumont
Prior to visiting Colorado, he traveled to Italy in mid-February. His travel companion later tested positive for COVID-19 in another state.
The man declared the first case of coronavirus, traveled to Colorado from his home state on Feb. 28 on a plane. At the time of travel, he did not exhibit symptoms of coronavirus.
“He was asymptomatic at the time, that means when he traveled at the airport, when he was on the airplane, he was asymptomatic, which means there is a low risk of transmission,” said Polis.
He then traveled to Summit County in a rental vehicle with two friends, both from Colorado, where they stayed in a condo in Keystone. He skied at Keystone and Vail Mountain Resort.
He developed symptoms on March 3 and went to St. Anthony’s in Frisco. He traveled from Summit County to Jefferson County by car with his fiancee. The fiancee and the man’s friends remain under a quarantine order.
The first patient is recovering in isolation in Jefferson County and will remain isolated until cleared by public health officials.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is working with local public health agencies to identify any close contacts who may have been exposed while the person was infectious.
After Polis gave details of the first case of coronavirus, he confirmed that a second “presumptive” case of coronavirus was confirmed in Colorado. The second case is a senior female who lives in Douglas County.
She returned to Colorado from international travel and is currently isolated in her home per CDC guidelines.
“So far our state lab has run approximately 93 tests that have come back negative,” said Polis.READ MORE: No Restrictions Yet, But Denver Water Customers Should Be Water Wise This Winter To Avoid Them
There are 38 tests still pending at the state level and two positive coronavirus tests.
“Because we’re going to test more frequently, we’ll see more cases,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
“Colorado is taking an aggressive approach to testing, this will help us test for the virus. We will continue with this approach as long as we have the resources available,” said Ryan.
Vail Resorts released this statement to CBS4 on Thursday night: We have been made aware of one presumptive positive case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Summit County, Colo. This evening, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) informed us that the person skied at Keystone Resort and Vail Mountain between Feb. 29 and March 2. He developed symptoms on March 3.
CDPHE has said the risk to the general public is low. Transmission from asymptomatic people is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
We are in contact with Summit County Public Health and the CDPHE and will follow their guidance and recommendations.
The health and wellbeing of our guests and employees is our top priority and we will continue to take all appropriate precautions. We have asked all employees to follow the recommendations from the CDC.
We do not expect disruptions to any of our resort operations.
Earlier this week, Gov. Jared Polis gathered with his team at the state Capitol morning to announce measures taking place to protect Coloradans.
Polis encouraged best practices that include washing your hands and staying home from work and other public places if you’re feeling sick.
Additional Information from the CDPHE:
- 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, for answers in English and Spanish (Español), Mandarin (普通话), and more.
On Tuesday, Polis said Colorado’s readiness includes 650,000 N95 masks and the capacity to test 160 people per day– free of charge.
“The free test that Colorado is using is covering the demand. If that need increases, we will consider other options,” said Polis on Thursday.
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On Monday, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announced the creation of a coronavirus task force that will coordinate among public agencies as the virus continues its spread across the country.