Two people in Denver, two others in Douglas County and one patient each in El Paso and Eagle counties have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus that’s spreading globally, county health officials announced Friday afternoon.
This brings the total number of coronavirus cases in Colorado to eight.
Neither of the Denver patients has symptoms severe enough to require hospitalization, according to a news release from the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment. Both were listed as “presumptive positive,” meaning their test results haven’t yet been confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It typically takes about 48 hours to confirm test results, state officials said.
The department said “several” other people who had been in close contact with those two patients will be quarantined. None showed symptoms as of Friday.
State officials said both patients had recently traveled overseas, but there is no connection between the two. One traveled to Vancouver, on Canada’s west coast, and the other took a cruise. They didn’t specify where the cruise ship docked.
One Denver patient was a man in his 40s, and the other was a woman in her 70s, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. It wasn’t clear which patient traveled to which destination.
The two Douglas County patients also had recently traveled abroad. One, a woman in her 40s, had recently traveled to Italy, and the other, a school-aged girl, had visited the Philippines. The Tri-County Health Department said the girl didn’t attend classes after returning to Colorado.
“Both of these new cases are from known international exposure, have mild illnesses, and are isolated at home, not in a hospital. There is no indication of additional community exposure at this time. Tri-County Health Department staff is monitoring the people who may have been exposed,” Dr. John M. Douglas Jr., the department’s executive director, said in a statement.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment also confirmed in a statement that St. Anne’s Episcopal School in Denver has closed “because of potential exposure to COVID-19.” It’s not clear if that is connected to the two new Denver cases.
A man in El Paso County also tested positive for the coronavirus, making it the fifth case to be reported in Colorado on Friday.
The man, who is in his 40s, recently traveled to California. He is in isolation at home and in “stable condition,” said El Paso County Public Health officials, who announced the new case Friday afternoon.
“We hope he is able to make a full and quick recovery,” said Susan Wheelan, director of El Paso County Public Health in a statement. “Protecting the health of our community is our top priority, and we are doing everything possible to make sure the public is safe.”
The sixth new case, in Eagle County, was a woman in her 50s who was exposed to the virus while traveling abroad. State officials didn’t say what country she had visited.
Colorado announced its first two cases of COVID-19 on Thursday: a 30-year-old man who traveled to Summit County, and an older Douglas County woman who had recently returned from a cruise. It’s not clear if the two new cases had any connection to the prior cases.
The health department advised Denver residents to wash their hands well, avoid touching their faces, cover coughs and sneezes, and stay home if they feel sick. If you need medical care and are concerned you might have COVID-19, call your doctor so the office can take precautions to avoid spreading the disease to other patients.
Colorado is only testing people who have symptoms and traveled to an area where the new virus is circulating or had close contact with an infected person, or who had to be hospitalized because of severe symptoms.
Denver Post staff writer Jessica Seaman contributed to this report.