Six additional presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 identified in Colorado, at least five have recently traveled internationally

Date: Fri, Mar 6, 2020 at 4:50 pm
Subject: Release: Six additional presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 identified in Colorado, at least five have recently traveled internationally

DENVER, March 6: The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s state lab had six additional presumptive positive tests today; at least five of the cases had an international travel history. The state is coordinating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on flights that may have had a COVID-19 case.  

The health department is releasing the following information about the six additional cases of COVID-19 in Colorado. 

As of March 6, 2020, eight cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Colorado:

Denver County

  • One case in a man in his 40s. The investigation is ongoing. 
  • One case in a woman in her 70s, exposed during international travel.

Douglas County

  • One case in a school-aged female, exposed during international travel.
  • One case in a woman in her 40s, exposed during international travel. 
  • One case in a woman in her 70s, exposed during international travel. 

Eagle County

  • One case in a woman in her 50s, exposed during international travel. 

El Paso County

  • One case in a man in his 40s. The investigation is ongoing.

Summit County

  • One case in a man in his 30s, an out-of-state resident who was exposed during international travel or through contact with an out-of-state case.

This week, the state laboratory expanded testing guidelines to ensure early detection– and slow down and limit transmission. 

“The increase in positive tests is not unexpected, and based on the experience of other states, the public health and health care systems have been preparing for additional cases,” said Executive Director Jill Hunsaker Ryan.  

When cases test positive, the individual and their close contacts like family members and roommates are asked to voluntarily “isolate” (isolation is in the case of a person with a positive COVID test) or “quarantine” themselves (quarantine is if there is a suspected exposure), while the state or local public health agency work to identify other possible contacts. Public health agencies can issue individual quarantine and isolation orders requiring individuals to remain at home for a certain period of time. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and local public health agencies began to issue orders yesterday with the announcement of positive cases.

Per protocol, local public health agencies are acting as the lead investigator on cases involving people who reside within their jurisdictions and will provide information as necessary and appropriate to protect the public’s health. The state will provide technical assistance to counties and will act as the lead investigator on any cases that occur in Colorado but involve residents of other states or countries.  The department will update numbers on our website and provide daily media summaries over the course of the coming days. 

COVID-19 is primarily spread through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. People who have sustained contact within six feet of an infected individual are most at risk of transmission.

The department continues to work closely with the CDC and public health agencies across the state and is committed to protecting the health and safety of Coloradans. Health officials advise Coloradans to stay informed, take simple disease prevention measures, and prepare. 

• Practice good hygiene. Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water. In the absence of soap and water, use hand-sanitizer; use a tissue or your elbow or sleeve to cover coughs and sneezes
• Stay home if you’re sick; keep your children home if they are sick. Talk to your employer about working from home if possible.
• We advise Coloradans to always be prepared for an emergency and have a plan for your family. Coloradans can visit the CDC’s website for more information on how to create a plan.
• 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 (???), and more. Coloradans can also visit the CDC and CDPHE websites for more information on best practices.
• If you have upcoming travel plans, visit the CDC’s website for latest travel information.

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www.colorado.gov/cdphe/cdphenews

Six additional presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 identified in Colorado, at least five have recently traveled internationally

CDPHE: Colorado has first positive case of COVID-19

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LOCAL UPDATES: Valley View Hospital is setting up screening areas to screen everyone coming into the hospital. Also, its physician practices are increasing screening and procedures related to COVID-19.

Valley View Hospital has also canceled its blood drive that was scheduled for Friday, March 6 in Glenwood Springs.
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CDPHE contact: Deanna Herbert, Deanna.Herbert@state.co.us, 303-691-7870

Key information:

  • Colorado has its first case of COVID-19.
  • The case is in an out-of-state visitor to Summit County, a male 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 CDC 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.  

DENVER (March 5, 2020): The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is reporting that the state laboratory has a positive test result for COVID-19 today. The case presented itself in a male in his 30s, who had contact with a known case of COVID-19. 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 the 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. 

“We are hopeful that the patient will have a swift recovery,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director, Colorado 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 department continues to work closely with CDC and public health agencies across the state and is committed to protecting the health and safety of Coloradans.  Health officials advise Coloradans to stay informed, take simple disease prevention measures, and prepare. 

  • 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, Mandarin and more.

The state will provide timely updates on any additional cases that test positive at the state lab.


The governor will hold a press conference at 4:45 p.m. at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, 4300 Cherry Creek South Drive, Sabin Room. We will share more details at that time. 

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Jessica Bralish

Communications Director 

303-349-7527 (mobile)

CDPHE: Colorado has first positive case of COVID-19