Select Page

Here’s what we know about coronavirus in Colorado

Coloradoan staff
Published 6:19 PM EDT Apr 1, 2020

Updates within this story are as of March 12.

How many confirmed coronavirus cases are in Colorado? Here are live updates

The Coloradoan will track major developments on the virus’ spread in the state. Follow along with that coverage here for the latest information.

Are school districts, universities and colleges closed? 

On Wednesday morning, University of Colorado Boulder announced all classes will be moved completely online for the remainder of the semester beginning March 16. Colorado College announced Tuesday all classes would resume online March 30 after an extended spring break at least through mid-April.

Colorado State University plans to keep students in the classroom for now. Though CSU officials are preparing for the possibility, there are no plans to close campus buildings or restrict access to campus as of Tuesday afternoon, said Lori Lynn, the co-chair of the university task force responding to COVID-19 and associate executive director of the CSU health network.

Poudre School District has cancelled all out-of-state trips for students and staff through April in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Thompson School District has cancelled all district-sponsored trips for students and staff both internationally and to states that have declared a state of emergency.

First case announced in Larimer County, woman recovering

Larimer County has its first presumptive positive case of the new coronavirus, Colorado health officials announced Monday. 

A Larimer County resident in her 50s tested positive for COVID-19, based on overnight testing, according to a news release from Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. She is in isolation at her Johnstown home and fully complying with orders from public health officials.

There are two presumptive positive cases in Denver County, three in Douglas County and one case each in Eagle, El Paso and Summit counties, according to data compiled by the health department.  

At least 5 cases announced on Friday

A day after Gov. Jared Polis and Colorado Department of Health officials announced two people in Colorado had tested presumptive positive for the coronavirus, three more counties reported five additional cases, bringing the total to seven.

On Friday, Denver health officials confirmed two additional presumptive cases of COVID-19. El Paso County health officials announced another, and Douglas County announced two.

In the Denver cases, two residents are symptomatic and isolated but do not currently require hospitalization, Denver Department of Public Health and Environment announced Friday.

Both people in those cases had traveled internationally, one on a cruise and one to Vancouver, British Columbia, according to officials. One person is a parent of a student at St. Anne’s Episcopal School in Denver, which released students early Friday.

Seven individuals who are not currently symptomatic have been or will soon be quarantined, the department said.

In El Paso County, a man in his 40s who recently traveled to California tested presumptive positive, according to Dr. Robin Johnson, medical director of the El Paso County Public Health, who spoke at a Friday afternoon news conference. The man is isolated at home in “stable condition.”

Health workers are investigating his contacts in the community, and some of his family members are under quarantine, Johnson said. He self-reported as soon as he had symptoms and called ahead to limit exposure, she said.

Douglas County announced two cases — one in Highlands Ranch and one in Castle Rock — bringing Colorado’s total to seven, according to Coloradoan partner 9News. One is an adult who had traveled from Italy. The other is a student who traveled to the Philippines. The student did not attend classes after returning, according to 9News.

All seven cases will be tested by the CDC.

The map below tracks presumptive positive and confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in Colorado. The map will be updated once daily.

Colorado’s first 2 coronavirus cases

In the first documented case of coronavirus in Colorado, an unidentified person visiting Summit County tested presumptive positive for the virus on Thursday, according to information from Polis and Colorado public health officials. 

A presumptive positive test result comes after testing at the state level, Polis said in a Thursday afternoon news conference. The results will be sent to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to confirm the test results.

The man in his 30s was visiting from from out of state, according to Coloradoan partner 9News. The man had been exposed through travel to Italy, according to Polis. 

He traveled through Denver International  Airport on Feb. 29 but was not experiencing symptoms at that time, Polis said, noting that, according to the CDC, transmission from asymptomatic people is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

The patient skied at Keystone and Vail Mountain Resort, and the governor’s office notified the resorts Thursday.

The man developed symptoms March 3, Polis said. He is now at a Jefferson County hospital and recovering in isolation. Three other people he was with while in Colorado have been ordered into quarantine.

COVID-19 in Summit County: First two coronavirus cases confirmed in Colorado

This content is being provided for free as a public service to our readers during the coronavirus outbreak. Please support local journalism by subscribing to the Coloradoan.

In the second case, an elderly Douglas County woman tested presumptive positive for the virus. 

She had recently returned to Colorado from international travel on a cruise and is isolated at her home, per CDC guidelines, according to a news release.

“She is currently isolated at home and has had limited public contact, including with her family members and health care providers. Tri-County Health Department staff is monitoring people who may have been exposed,” said the department’s executive director, John M. Douglas Jr., in a news release. “We are hoping that she recovers quickly.”


Are any Fort Collins residents aboard the Grand Princess? 

Greg and Susan White of Fort Collins reached out to the Coloradoan on Friday, saying they are among thousands of people aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship being held off the coast of California after crew and passengers developed symptoms of the new coronavirus while on board.

The Grand Princess had been ordered not to dock in California until tests were concluded on people aboard who had exhibited symptoms or had been on a previous voyage with a 71-year-old man who died from the disease, according to a report from USA Today.

On Friday afternoon, Vice President Mike Pence said 46 people aboard the ship had been swabbed. Of those, 21 tested positive for the virus, 24 test was negative and one was inconclusive. Of those that tested positive, 19 were crew members and two were passengers. Pence said crew members would likely be quarantined on the ship and that everyone on the ship would be tested, according to a USA Today report.

In a video obtained by USA Today, the ship’s captain can be heard saying the people infected on board “will continue to stay quarantined in their staterooms,” until they can be transferred to hospitals on shore.

Late Friday afternoon, officials announced the ship will dock this weekend in a “non-commercial port.”

What are coronavirus symptoms? 

Symptoms of COVID-19 can range from mild to severe; the virus can also be asymptomatic, meaning some people don’t have any symptoms at all. 

The most common symptoms mirror the flu and include fever, tiredness and dry cough. Some people also develop aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea.

About 1 in 6 people becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing, according to the World Health Organization. If you experience fever, cough and shortness of breath, call your doctor.

A microscopic image from the first U.S. case of COVID-19.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

How is coronavirus spread? Will a face mask help?

The virus is spreading rapidly from person to person, and scientists are still learning more about how it spreads. According to the CDC, the virus spreads between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) and through respiratory droplets, much like the common cold or flu.

Coronavirus outbreak in China: How the virus spread so fast

There’s no evidence that the virus can be transmitted through food, according to the CDC. It is, however, possible that a person can get the virus by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own face. 

Across the country, people are reaching for face masks. Some stores across the nation are selling out. But infectious-disease experts say a face mask can offer only slight protection against airborne illness. A more effective defense against a virus is washing your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water after using the restroom and before eating.

“CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19,” the CDC says.

That mask won’t help: Face masks offer little protection against coronavirus, flu, experts warn

How long does coronavirus stay on a surface?

It is possible that a person can get the virus by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own face. There is likely very low risk of spread from food products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks, according to the CDC.

Can cats, dogs or other pets get the coronavirus?

The pet dog of a coronavirus patient in Hong Kong tested “weak” positive for COVID-19 and was put in quarantine in late February, but the department said it does not have evidence that pets can be infected with the virus or can be a source of infection to people.

Researchers suspect that COVID-19 spread to humans through an animal, but it was not clear what kind of animal transmitted the disease to people. 

Hong Kong’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department has advised that all mammalian pets of coronavirus patients should put their pets under quarantine and veterinary surveillance for 14 days.

“If there are any changes in the health condition of the pets, advice from veterinarians should be sought as soon as possible,” the statement from the department said.

When should you self-quarantine? For how long?

As the coronavirus outbreak continues, many Americans are preparing to quarantine themselves.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has required some U.S. citizens who returned from China to be quarantined for 14 days. But local communities may have reason to respond to “severe” disruptions as the situation evolves, as the CDC said last week. 

Should there be a quarantine issued by local authorities — or you self-impose one on you and your family — it would be unlikely to go beyond 14 days, which is the expected incubation period.

Going into self-quarantine?: Here’s a checklist for some items to have on hand 

How is Northern Colorado preparing for a possible outbreak of COVID-19?

UCHealth and Banner health systems have had protocols in place for potential virus outbreaks for years, most notably the H1N1 pandemic in 2009 and the most recent Ebola outbreak in 2014-16.

Several school districts are working with the county health department to develop necessary protocols for a potential virus outbreak, and Colorado State University has had protocols in place to protect against this new coronavirus strain since Jan. 14, according to the university website.

Preparing for coronavirus: What’s being done in Northern Colorado to prepare for COVID-19

Colorado state health officials announced on March 2 that they received resources to complete 160 tests for the new coronavirus per day, with results in 24 hours. As of Thursday, there have been 93 tests for COVID-19 in Colorado since Jan. 23, according to the latest update posted on the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s website. 

Where have coronavirus cases been confirmed in the U.S.?

Aside from the cases in Colorado, cases have been confirmed in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The map below (still being updated) shows all confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S.

For more cases worldwide, check our interactive global coronavirus map. 

WHERE IS THE VIRUS?: Tracking the spread of coronavirus cases in the US and worldwide

This content was originally published here.