First coronavirus case confirmed in Colorado, patient being treated in Denver

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DENVER – The first case of the novel coronavirus has been confirmed in Colorado, state health officials said Thursday afternoon.

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the patient is an out-of-state man in his 30s. He was visiting Summit County.

“The case had known exposure to the virus through close contact with a person with COVID-19 outside of Colorado,” the CDPHE said in a written statement.

The man is being treated in the Denver metro area. He is in isolation and will remain there until cleared by public health officials.

Officials did not say where exactly the patient is receiving treatment.

The CDPHE said that because testing was conducted at the state level, it is considered a “presumptive positive” and will be sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmation.

“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,” officials said.

Jill Hunsaker Ryan, the executive director of the CDPHE, said the agency is hopeful the patient will have a swift recovery.

“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,” Hunsaker Ryan said.

Twelve people have died from the virus in the United States. Eleven of the fatalities occurred in Washington state; the other occurred in California.

A recent surge of cases nationwide has prompted new travel restrictions, school closures and emergency declarations.

Health officials recommend frequent hand washing and staying at least six feet away from people showing symptoms.

Symptoms of the virus are similar to those of the common cold. They include a runny nose, cough, sore throat, headache and fever.

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