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Governor: First two positive tests for coronavirus found Thursday in Colorado

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DENVER (KRDO) -- Gov. Jared Polis announced Thursday afternoon that two people in Colorado have tested positive for COVID-19, the coronavirus that has infected tens of thousands across the world.

Polis issued a tweet shortly before 4 p.m., saying his office "learned of the first presumptive positive case of COVID-19 in Colorado." The results were verified by state tests, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is getting the tests for an official confirmation.

According to the state Department of Health, the case originated from an out-of-state visitor in Summit County. The patient is described as a male in his 30s who recently traveled to Italy during a major outbreak in Rome, and who arrived at Denver International Airport last weekend.

A person who traveled with the patient has tested positive for the virus in another state, Polis said.

A press conference happened around 5 p.m. to provide more information. Watch below:

Public health officials said that practitioners are investigating and will notify anyone else who may have been exposed.

The governor said the man rented a car at DIA, drove to Summit County and stayed with two friends at a condo and enjoyed unspecified outdoor activities until he went to St. Anthony Summit Medical Center in Frisco to be treated for symptoms.

"The patient was advised for his health to be transported to lower altitudes," Polis said. "The patient was feeling well enough to travel in a private vehicle with his fiancé to Jefferson County, wearing a mask.  At this time, he is now recovering in isolation in Jefferson County.  His fiancé is in quarantine."

Late Thursday evening, officials revealed that the man's two friends have been ordered to remain on home isolation for at least two weeks, and that four hospital workers who attended to him will be tested as a precaution.

"They were prepared and took the proper precautions," Polis said.

The governor said the health threat to travelers at DIA when the man arrived last Saturday is low.

"He had a low risk of transmission while on the plane and was considered generally non-contagious," he said. "Therefore, there's no reason at this time to believe that other travelers were exposed."

After releasing various details about the first case, Polis also confirmed that a second presumptive positive case was confirmed on Thursday, as well.

Hours later, state officials said the second case involved an elderly woman in Douglas County.

According to the Tri-County Health Department, she contracted the virus while traveling on an international cruise, but the specific destination or city of origin was not named.

She is currently isolated at her home and had "limited public contact" with her family members and health care providers, according to TCHD.

The agency said it is also monitoring people who may have been exposed to the virus through her.

Officials said the two positive tests are the state's first out of nearly 100 tests, with 38 other test results pending.

Test results are usually available with 48 hours, officials said, and as the state expands its testing ability it expects to have more positive cases.

"I know that some states have declared public health emergencies in this situation but we don't need to do that yet," Polis said.

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Andrew McMillan

Andrew is the Digital Content Director for KRDO.com. Learn more about Andrew here.

Comments

11 Comments

  1. This is why there is no chance to contain it. Stu – pidity ! Read the story, says the 30 year old male with recent travel to Italy – AND one of his travel companions tested positive…… so then the More-on decided to get on a plane and fly to CO to go skiing……. even knowing he is at high risk….. what an idgit!

  2. I would like to know who’s going to pay the middle class peoples bills when we are forced to stay in our homes for weeks on end. Most of us live paycheck to paycheck. This will be catastrophic to the middle class citizens.

  3. 80% of people contracting the coronavirus do not have severe cases. Instead of spending all this money combating the virus, I wonder if the money would be better spent on an army of psychiatrists. If I hear much more about this, my head’s going to explode (that might be a good thing).

    1. You stand a better chance of getting the Flu than the coronavirus more people have died from the Flu than the coronavirus this year!

  4. The normal every year flu is worse than Corona virus. Remember not any cases of people under 15. Only harms thoes with underlying medical conditions.
    To celebrate I’m going to go buy some corona tonight. Not worried one bit, so party on wayne!

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