Presumptive coronavirus cases reported in Douglas, Summit counties

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Colorado has its first two "presumptive positive" cases of COVID-19, commonly known as the coronavirus, Gov. Jared Polis and health officials announced March 5.

The first case announced was out of Summit County. The second is out of Douglas County. 

Tri-County Health Department released a statement the night of March 5 about the Douglas County case, saying the person affected is an "older adult woman from Douglas County who was exposed during an international cruise."

“She is currently isolated at home and has had limited public contact, including with her family members and healthcare providers. Tri-County Health Department (TCHD) staff is monitoring people who may have been exposed,” said John M. Douglas, Jr., MD, Executive Director of Tri-County Health Department. “We are hoping that she recovers quickly.”

Some details about the second case, according to a news release from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment:

  • The case is in an out-of-state visitor to Summit County, a man in his 30s.
  • The case had known exposure to the virus through close contact with a person with COVID-19 outside of Colorado.
  • Because testing was conducted at the state level, the case is a “presumptive positive,” and will be sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for official confirmation. 
  • The state is acting on all “presumptive positive” cases as if they were confirmed because a quick response is essential to minimize the spread of the virus.
  • Public health practitioners are investigating and will attempt to notify anyone else who may have been exposed because of this case.  

The patient with COVID-19 is recovering in isolation somewhere in the Denver metro area and will continue to do so until cleared by public health officials, according to the release.

“We are hopeful that the patient will have a swift recovery,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director of the Department of Public Health and Environment. “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. Our goals are to protect the public from the disease, get people the care they need, and minimize disruption to daily lives."

The releases advises people to:

  • 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.
  • 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 and pet food.

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