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UPDATES: Roaring Fork Valley Coronavirus

Mar 20, 2020

Credit Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

UPDATE: We've moved to doing weekly updates since information is changing rapidly. Find them here.
 

Updated: Saturday, March 21, 3:30 p.m. 

Eagle County Public Health and Environment has confirmed the first death of an Eagle County resident from COVID-19. The patient was a male in his 60s with underlying health conditions. He died at a Denver-area hospital. 

 “It is with a heavy heart that we are confirming the loss of one of our community members from COVID-19. We are extremely saddened by the news and extend our deepest condolences to the family,” said Heath Harmon, Director of Eagle County Public Health and Environment.  “The news of this loss in our community serves as a solemn reminder that COVID-19 can pose greater risks to some members of our community, in particular older adults and people with pre-existing health conditions. We must all take steps to protect our families, ourselves, our friends, and our community.”

Updated: Friday, March 20, 8:07 p.m. 

A virtual community meeting with Pitkin County officials will be held Monday starting at 3 p.m. This meeting is meant to update the public on how Pitkin County and the City of Aspen are continuing to handle the coronavirus outbreak.  

The meeting can be viewed at grassrootstv.org or on Comcast channel 11, 12 or HD on channel 880.

Updated: Friday, March 20, 3:20 p.m.

Mountain Family Health Centers are now providing “telehealth” video chat and/or phone consultations to help protect patients, health care workers and the community from exposure to COVID-19. 

The telehealth process is started by making an appointment at MFHC at 970-945-2840.  

Upon making the appointment, patients will receive an email from Mountain Family confirming the appointment and explaining how to connect. At the appointment time, patients will connect on your computer or phone and will be face-to-face with your medical or mental health provider. Patients will need access to email and a phone or computer with a video camera, microphone and speaker.

Updated: Friday, March 20, 11:54 a.m.

The Roaring Fork Transit Authority (RFTA) has announced further cuts to its service starting Monday, March 23. 

The City of Glenwood Springs and RFTA are temporarily suspending operations of the Ride Glenwood public transit service until further notice. 

 Ride Glenwood serves the Community Center, the Meadows shopping center, West Glenwood Mall, Hwys 6 and 24, Downtown and the Roaring Fork Market Place. RFTA’s BRT and Local services along the regional Highway 82 corridor can be used to access many of these locations in the absence of Ride Glenwood.  

The City of Glenwood Springs is also temporarily suspending all non-critical air traffic at the Glenwood Springs Municipal Airport. The Airport will maintain essential administrative operations and all critical emergency medical, search and rescue, and local aviation and fire emergency services.

 

Updated: Friday, March 20, 9:26 a.m. 

Governor Jared Polis will provide an update on how the state is responding to support Coloradans in response to COVID-19 at 10:45 a.m. The news conference will be live-streamed on the Governor’s Facebook page.

Updated: Thursday, March 19, 5:10 p.m.

The City of Glenwood Springs will be hosting a live community forum Friday, March 20 from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on the city's Facebook page with Valley View Hospital. 

This comes after Garfield County confirmed its third presumptive positive case of COVID-19 Thursday. As of Thursday afternoon, Eagle County has 51 confirmed cases and Pitkin County has 12. 

Though, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) officials confirm the number of cases in Colorado are most likely higher than data shows since the priority is to test high-risk individuals than every person who may have symptoms.

CDPHE encourages Coloradans or visitors to the state to self-isolate or self-quarantine if they feel symptoms of COVID-19 or have been close to someone who has tested positive.

Self-isolate applies to people who:

  • Have tested positive for COVID-19
  • Have symptoms of the coronavirus, including coughing, shortness of breath or a fever
  • Feel ill and feel that they might have COVID-19

Self-quarantine applies to people who:

  • Had close contact with a person who either tested positive for COVID-19 or has early symptoms of the virus

Updated: Wednesday, March 18, 3:24 p.m.

LIFT-UP food pantries will be giving out pre-packaged emergency food boxes in a drive-through format on Friday. 

 Those in need can stop by the following locations between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

  • Parachute – LIFT-UP Food Pantry – 201 E. First St.
  • Rifle – LIFT-UP Food Pantry – 800 Railroad Ave.
  • New Castle – Elk Creek Elementary School Parking Lot – 804 W. Main St.
  • Glenwood Springs – Glenwood Springs High School, South Parking Lot
  • Carbondale – Third Street Center Parking Lot

 The food pantry is in need of reusable grocery bags and non-perishable food items, which can be dropped off at any of the above locations on Friday or at LIFT-UP’s Rifle location, Monday through Thursday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. LIFT-UP thrift stores will remain closed through the end of March so staff can assist with food distribution. Updates from LIFT-UP can be found on the organization's Facebook page

 

Updated: Tuesday, March 17, 5:20 p.m.

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has unveiled a new website to share information and updates about COVID-19. The website can be found at this link.

The new site includes data visualizations with the latest numbers of cases in the state.

Updated: Monday, March 16, 2:50 p.m. 

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) said the state is prioritizing testing in mountain resort communities. State officials, with help from the National Guard, will open mobile testing sites throughout different mountain communities to understand the severity of community spread of COVID-19.

The first site is in Telluride on Tuesday, March 17. The testing site will test about 100 high-risk patients who have been pre-selected by area health care providers. The site will not accept walk-up or drive-up patients. 

CDPHE officials said after Tuesday, more mountain communities will see mobile testing sites in the coming days and weeks. The future locations have not been announced. 

Updated: Monday, March 16, 2:06 p.m. 

Aspen Valley Hospital and the Midvalley Surgery Center are postponing elective surgeries for two weeks, beginning today. A statement from the hospital said the decision is guided by recent recommendations from the Surgeon General of the United States and the American College of Surgeons. 

 

“The postponement of surgical cases is necessary to limit COVID-19 spread and do everything we can to protect our patients and healthcare providers, and to preserve limited resources for the weeks ahead,” the statement said.

 

Patients who have elective surgeries over the next two weeks will be notified by hospital personnel. After two weeks, the hospital will “reevaluate” the situation. 

 

Previously, the hospital announced that it was limiting non-essential access to its facilities and screening every person who enters.

 

“This decision aligns with our community’s proactive approach to mitigate the transmission rate of the virus and flatten the dissemination curve, while also being aggressive with Hospital preparation for critically ill patients,” the statement said.

Updated: Monday, March 16, 8:30 a.m. 

LIFT-UP food pantries are postponing service until at least Thursday. LIFT-UP says the organization's leadership is meeting with city and county officials to form a plan to move ahead.

“The temporary pause will allow us assess the situation, get advice and plan for the future,” said executive director Angela Mills.

Updated: Sunday, March 15, 6:00 p.m. 

Beginning Monday, March 16, free daily parking is available everywhere in downtown Aspen and the city's residential areas until March 31. City of Aspen's direct Highlands and Galena Street shuttles, downtowner service and car-to-go programs will be suspended as of Tuesday, March 17 until further notice.

Time limits and illegal parking will still be enforced. Four hours of parking is allowed in the downtown core and 72 hours in residential areas. There is no parking in the downtown core between 2 a.m. and 7 a.m. as always. 

Updated: Sunday, March 15, 3:30 p.m. 

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) said Sunday all visitors and residents of Eagle, Summit, Pitkin and Gunnison counties should minimize social contact whether or not people are showing symptoms of COVID-19. 

CDPHE advises those experiencing cough, fever or shortness of breath to isolate for at least 7-10 days after the start of those symptoms. 

CDPHE recommends that residents and visitors in affected communities take social distancing precautions, such as working from home, avoiding mass gatherings and only going to public spaces for necessities, like groceries or medicine. 

Currently, there are 13 presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Pitkin County, 18 in Eagle and two in Garfield County, but officials say that there is community transmission in Colorado's high country and that many more people are likely infected than have been identified through tests. 

In a letter to community members, Pitkin County officials said testing for COVID-19 has not stopped, but only high-risk patients at Aspen Valley Hospital are being tested.

Updated: Saturday, March 14, 5:22 p.m. 

A woman in her 30s tested presumptive positive for COVID-19 in Garfield County, marking the county's first recorded case. The woman has not been hospitalized and is isolated in self-quarantine. She had contact with the travelers that tested positive for COVID-19 in Pitkin County.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment also confirmed four new presumptive positive cases in Eagle County today, which already had 16, and one new case in Pitkin County, bringing the total there to 11. 

Updated: Saturday, March 14, 4:42 p.m. 

Vail Resorts is suspending operations at all of its North American mountain resorts and retail stores from Mar. 15 to Mar. 22. That includes Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone. A statement from the resort company said it will be using the time to “reassess [its] approach for the rest of the season.”

 The statement also said both seasonal and year-round employees will be paid during the upcoming eight-day period, without needing to use any vacation or sick time.

Updated: Saturday, March 14, 9:27 a.m. 

Starting today, Garfield County Senior Programs is suspending most operations due to risks from the spread of the coronavirus. 

The closures include group meals at Crystal Meadows Senior Housing in Carbondale, Sunnyside Retirement Center and Chat ‘n Chew in Glenwood Springs, New Castle Senior Housing, Silt Town Center, Rifle Senior Center and Valley Senior Center in Parachute.

All Well and Wise classes and social programs and meetings are also canceled for the time being. 

Traveler services are being evaluated and reduced services have been initiated. Those who need transportation for medical purposes or trips to the pharmacy can still contact Traveler. 

 

Garfield County says that Senior Programs staff is available to current participants in programs and services by phone, text and social media.

Seniors are encouraged to minimize public exposure. Garfield County Senior Programs encourages high risk seniors to utilize grocery pick-up programs at City Market and Walmart. 

If they are unable to do that and need assistance to access food, they are instructed to call Garfield County Senior Programs Manager Judy Martin (970-665-0041).

Updated: Friday, March 13, 5:21 p.m. 

The Pitkin County Incident Management Team and Pitkin County Public Health Department are hosting a virtual community meeting on Monday, March 16 at 3 p.m.  People are welcome to send in questions. Questions will be accepted until noon on Monday. Live questions will not be taken during the meeting.

Participants can watch the Community Meeting here. (Meeting ID: 571 198 559) You can also listen only to the meeting by calling (669) 900-6833 or (929) 205-6099. (Meeting ID 571198559#)

Updated: Friday, March 13, 3:01 p.m. 

An El Paso County woman in her 80s died from COVID-19 today, marking the state’s first death from the disease. A statement from the Colorado Department of Health and Environment said that she had underlying health conditions.

 “While we were expecting this day, it doesn't make it any less difficult to hear and share this news. As a state we are in mourning and our hearts go out to the family and loved ones of the Coloradan we lost,” Governor Jared Polis said in the statement.

 72 people in Colorado have tested presumptive positive for Coronavirus, including two in El Paso County.

Updated: Friday, March 13, 11:50 a.m. 

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) confirmed 23 new presumptive positive cases in Colorado Friday, including five in Eagle County. The total number of cases in the state is now 72 based on over 600 tests since February 28.

Glenwood Springs announced Friday all public buildings will be closed through March 27. Closures include the community center, city hall, the police and fire department administrative offices and the art center. 

Health officials advise residents to wash hands thoroughly and often, to stay home if they’re sick and to have 72 hours of necessities like food and medications on hand. 

Updated: Friday, March 13, 11:20 a.m. 

Garfield County Public Health in conjunction with Pitkin County Public Health and Eagle County has issued a Public Health Order to minimize the health impacts of COVID 19. This includes the prohibition of large meetings of more than 50 people.

The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office says that the public health order issued jointly by Garfield, Pitkin and Eagle that prohibits large meetings of 50 or more people can be legally enforced. 

Potential consequences could be a Class I Misdemeanor charge. 

The sheriff’s office encourages residents to follow orders and to take extra precautions to keep themselves safe, such as handwashing and disinfecting.

Updated: Thursday, March 12, 9:40 p.m.

Eagle, Garfield and Pitkin Counties have issued an order prohibiting gatherings of more than 50 people unless measures are taken by event organizers to minimize risk, effective immediately. A statement from the counties said the order will be revisited on April 8.

The order does not include schools, but mentioned that schools, parents and employers “should take steps now to prepare for the possibility of prolonged mandatory closures.” “We all have a lot at stake for the safety of our community,” said the statement, which was signed by public health officials from all three counties. “Giving up social events will not be easy, but this is our best chance to save lives. These actions will help to contain the spread of COVID-19 to protect everyone. This is also in support of the most vulnerable in our community.” The order also does not apply to activities that are primarily individual or take place in small-group settings, like skiing. 

Updated: Thursday, March 12, 6:57 p.m.

Eagle County issued a public health order that imposes restrictions on social gatherings of 50 people or more. According to a statement from the county, it will stay in effect until at least April 8. The order does not apply to schools, and no schools in Eagle County have announced closures.

Eagle County currently has 11 presumptive positive cases of COVID-19, the most in the state. The Colorado Department of Health and Environment believes there is evidence of community transmission in the county. Community transmission refers to a situation in which new cases of the disease do not have identifiable ties to existing positive cases.

Updated: Thursday, March 12, 5:35 p.m.

Pitkin County said it is "reevaluating" its strategy for broad-based community testing. This follows an earlier announcement that the county had "discontinued" all local screening and testing for COVID-19. 

"Our goal is to ensure that our high-risk populations are being screened as needed to ensure we can prevent mortality and maintain a strong first responder infrastructure so they can continue to serve our community," the county said in a Facebook post.

Updated: Thursday, March 12, 5:22 p.m.

Pitkin County announced that all local screening and testing for COVID-19 has been discontinued in a short statement.

Updated: Thursday, March 12, 5:22 p.m.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, or CDPHE, confirmed four new presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Colorado this afternoon, all of them in Eagle County. This brings the total number of presumptive positive cases in the state to 49.  CDPHE suspects community transmission in Eagle County, a term applied when new cases are found with no known connection to other existing cases.  The four individuals in Eagle County who tested positive are a male in his 20s, a male in his 80s and two females in their 30s.

Updated: Thursday, March 12, 3:20 p.m.

The Aspen City Manager has implemented a declaration of local disaster emergency, effective immediately. A statement from the city called it a “proactive measure to slow the potential spread, impacts, and damage of COVID-19.” Ten presumptive positive cases of the disease have been identified in Aspen. Below are closures included in the declaration, beginning at 5 p.m. today.

 

  • Wheeler Opera House is closed until March 31 and may be extended.
  • Aspen Recreation Center, Red Brick Gym, Aspen Ice Garden, Golf simulator, and Red Brick Center for the Arts are closed until March 31 and may be extended.
  • Non-mandatory advisory board and commissions will stop meeting through April 15.
  • Classes in the Aspen Recreation Center, Red Brick Gym, and Red Brick Center for the Arts will not run until April 15.
  • The city will be issuing no new event permits until April 15.  The city will be reevaluating event permits that have already been issued, which may be subject to further consideration.

 “The short-term closures have only one goal in mind,” Mayor Torre said in a statement. “To mitigate the possible spread of this disease and to try to avoid a longer-term risk.  I am asking your cooperation in proactively implementing these measures.” 

Updated: Thursday, March 12, 2:10 p.m.

The Aspen Skiing Company announced the cancellation of a number of upcoming events, including Hi Fi concerts, the Kick Aspen Big Air, NASTAR National Championships and the US Tech Championships. A statement from the company said the events are being cancelled “under the guidance of Pitkin County and the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention].”

 SkiCo is also relaxing cancellation policies at its hotels and taking up new distancing and cleaning practices at restaurants and ski mountains. The company is removing some seating in restaurants, disinfecting gondola cabins daily and not loading unrelated parties into the same gondolas. 

Updated: Thursday, March 12, 12:46 p.m. 

A tenth presumed positive case of coronavirus has been found in Pitkin County, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health. The individual is a male in his 70s who came into contact with an Australian woman who visited the area and tested positive when she returned to her home country.   That case is one of 11 new presumed positive cases of COVID-19 in the state, bringing the total to 44. One indeterminate test is being treated as a positive. The Colorado Department of Public Health says approximately 350 people have been tested statewide since testing began on February 28. 

Blue numbers do not represent locations of people who tested presumptive positive for coronavirus.
Credit Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

Updated: Thursday, March 12, 12:10 p.m. 

The Pitkin County Incident Management Team announced that it has opened a testing location at the Aspen Volunteer Fire Department’s Aspen Village Location.

This testing location is for people who have been screened by the Pitkin County Coronavirus Hotline at 970-429-6186.

 

In a statement, incident commander Gabe Muething asked the community to respect the privacy of those who are getting testted at the center.

 

Fellow incident commander Alex Burchetta confirmed that the county tested symptomatic people Wednesday and continue to do so.

Officials encourage anyone who feels they should be screened for coronavirus to call the Pitkin County coronavirus hotline at 970-429-6186, staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week.   

Updated: Wednesday, March 11, 4:00 p.m.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, or CDPHE, announced one female in her 60s, four men in their 60s and one man in his 70s are among the six that tested presumptively positive for COVID-19 in Pitkin County. All six, plus three other presumptive positive cases announced in the county earlier Wednesday, were in contact with the Australian visitor to Aspen that tested presumptive positive after returning to her home country. 

Governor Jared Polis' office will be holding a press conference at 5 p.m. with more details on the 33 total presumptive positive cases in Colorado.

Updated: Wednesday, March 11, 2:40 p.m.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, or CDPHE, confirmed six additional people who were in contact with the Australian visitor have tested presumptively positive for COVID-19. This brings the number of presumptively positive cases in Pitkin County to nine. The county currently has the highest number of presumptively positive cases in the state. 

Updated: Wednesday, March 11, 12:55 p.m.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, or CDPHE, has identifed seven new presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in the state in addition to the three cases announced earlier today in Pitkin County. That brings the total number to 27 cases in the state.

One new case was found in Eagle County, which now has a total of four cases. There were two new cases in Gunnison County, two in Jefferson County, one in Denver County and one in Arapahoe County.

Health officials advise residents to wash hands thoroughly and often, to stay home if they’re sick and to have 72 hours of necessities like food and medications on hand. 

Updated: Wednesday, March 11, 11:25 a.m.

Three people in Pitkin County tested presumptively positive for coronavirus, as confirmed by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, or CDPHE. According to a statement from Pitkin County health officials, those three people were in contact with the 21-year-old Australian woman who tested presumptively positive upon returning to her home country. The tests are considered “presumptive positive" until they are confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Test results are still pending for seven others who were in contact with the visitor.

 “These visitors are currently in quarantine. CDPHE staff, in conjunction with Pitkin County Public Health, are monitoring people who may have been exposed,” Karen Koenemann, director of Pitkin County Public Health said in a statement. “We hope that these folks recover quickly and there is no additional spread in Pitkin County.” Pitkin County Incident Management Team is in contact with those who tested presumptively positive as well as the local properties impacted. The property managers have been given information on how to protect themselves and proper cleaning procedures to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

 

Updated: Tuesday, March 10, 6:55 p.m.

Earlier reports identified a presumptive positive COVID-19 case in Gunnison County, but a correction from the Colorado Department of Health and Environment said the woman in her 40s is actually a Denver County resident with ties to Gunnison County. The Tuesday afternoon update also identified presumptive positive cases in Jefferson and Denver counties. The two newly announced cases bring the state's total to 17.

Updated: Tuesday, March 10, 3:08 p.m.

Aspen Valley Hospital announced a number of precautionary measures to limit potential exposure to novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, according to a release. Beginning Wednesday morning, the hospital will limit non-essential access to all locations, and all patients, visitors, volunteers, vendors and guests will be asked screening questions prior to entering the hospital or any other Aspen Valley Hospital facilities, until further notice. 

 

The hospital itself will have limited access points. The designated entry point for all non-emergent services at Aspen Valley Hospital will be the east entrance. 24/7 entrance to the emergency department will require screening, and the emergency department will be the only point of entrance to Aspen Valley Hospital after 5 p.m. on weekdays and on the weekends.

The Snowmass Clinic in Snowmass Village and the After-Hours Medical Care clinic in Basalt are now screening patients by phone before patients are allowed to enter either facility.

 

Due to the limited testing capacity of the state, Aspen Valley Hospital is adhering to the protocols of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), in cooperation with Pitkin County Public Health, to only test those individuals with symptoms who meet strict criteria.

Updated: Tuesday, March 10, 11:42 a.m. 

The number of presumptive cases of COVID-19 in Colorado has reached 15. The latest cases were reported in Eagle, Arapahoe and Gunnison counties. Officials say the state is expecting the number of cases to rise as the testing is ramped up.

As part of the emergency declaration, Governor Jared Polis is ordering employers to provide paid sick leave to workers in several industries that might be affected by the outbreak.  He says teachers, food service and health care workers who come down with symptoms and need to take time off for virus testing will not miss out on a paycheck. He is also allowing residents who are 65 and older to renew their drivers licenses online so they are not exposed to the virus at DMVs.

"By taking these actions now, we are hopeful that we can avoid the significant closures and devastating impact to quality of life and the economy that is occurring currently in Italy," he said.  Polis says a drive-up testing lab is opening in Denver on Wednesday for residents who receive a doctor’s order.  

Updated: Tuesday, March 10, 10:11 a.m. 

Governor Jared Polis has declared a state of emergency in the state of Colorado to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the state. The governor says this measure will allow him to take steps to ease the spread of the new coronavirus and limit economic disruptions.

Polis also says he's directed the state to pursue financial measures to make it easier for health, food, nursing home and state employees to stay home if they get sick, rather than expose others to the virus because they're worried about losing their jobs, and that he's more seeking more testing capacity through partnerships with private companies. The state lab is currently capable of 160 tests per day.  

Updated: Monday, March 9, 4:30 p.m.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment identified two new presumptive cases of COVID-19, including one in Eagle County. 21 tests were completed between 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Monday.

A female Eagle County resident in her 70s tested positive. She had no known contact with an infected person, but did recently travel in the U.S. Eagle County officials say the patient had mild symptoms, was not hospitalized and is recovering in isolation. The second patient is a woman in Denver County.

The two presumptive positive cases are in addition to one announced Monday morning. Overnight testing confirmed a female patient in her 50s in Larimer County tested presumptive positive, meaning the results have not been confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Updated: Sunday, March 8, 9:03 a.m. 

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment identified no additional presumptive positive coronavirus tests on Saturday, after eight cases were identified in the state. At least six of those cases contracted the virus during international travel. The CDPHE lab conducted 44 new tests.

When a person tests positive, the state department of health instructs them to isolate themselves from contact with others. The state or local public health agency then works to identify other close contacts, and may instruct family members or roommates to quarantine themselves at home. Quarantine orders also include instructions for how to seek care and testing if the individual starts to show symptoms.

The virus is primarily spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The CDPHE reports that people who have sustained contact within six feet of an infected individual are most at risk. Pitkin County Public Health encourages residents to check information from the Centers for Disease Control.     

Updated: Thursday, March 4, 5:51 p.m. 

In a press conference Thursday afternoon, Colorado governor Jared Polis said two people have tested positive for coronavirus in Colorado, marking the state's first cases in the global outbreak. The governor said the two cases are unconnected. The first, a man in his 30s who tested positive in Frisco, traveled to Italy in February before visiting Summit County, where many of Colorado’s ski resorts are located. Polis says his traveling companion in Italy also tested positive. He is recovering in isolation in the Denver metro area. 

No details were immediately available about the second case.

Thursday, March 4, 4:35 p.m. 

 

Colorado has its first case of the coronavirus, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The case is in an out-of-state visitor to Summit County, a male in his 30s. He contracted the virus through contact with a person with COVID-19 outside of Colorado.

Because the testing was done at the state level, the case is a “presumptive positive” and results will be sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmation. To act as swiftly as possible, the state will proceed as if the case is officially confirmed.

The individual is recovering in isolation in the Denver metro area and will remain isolated until cleared by public health officials. The department is working with local public health agencies to identify any close contacts who may have been exposed while the person was infectious. Public health practitioners will attempt to contact anyone who may have been exposed and monitor them for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. 

Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said in a release, “Like other states, we expected to begin seeing cases in Colorado and that is why we have been preparing for the past couple of months, in conjunction with local public health agencies and healthcare partners."

Health officials advise residents to wash hands thoroughly and often, to stay home if they’re sick and to have 72 hours of necessities like food and medications on hand.