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Colorado COVID-19 cases: 1st death reported, 131 test positive for coronavirus

There are now 131 cases in Colorado, according to public health officials.

COLORADO, USA — One hundred and thirty-one people in Colorado have tested presumptive positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and one person has died as of Sunday, March 15.

The person who died was an El Paso County woman in her 80s with underlying health conditions, according to a news release from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). During a news conference, Gov. Jared Polis (D-Colorado) said she lived alone.

CDPHE released a public health alert after learning the woman attended bridge games at the Colorado Springs Bridge Center between Feb. 27 and March 3. If you or a close contact attended the center during those dates and are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, officials recommend calling your health provider immediately.

“We’re extremely concerned about possible transmission both at the tournament and in communities after they went home,” said Kimberly Pattison, EPCPH Communicable Disease Program Manager. “Many attendees were older people who might be especially vulnerable to severe illness from COVID-19.”

MORE: Follow the 9NEWS coronavirus blog for live updates

With new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), providers are able to test patients independently of public health departments, so statistics regarding the number of presumptive positive cases are expected to change.

The results for anyone tested at a local level are considered “presumptive positive” until the CDC confirms the cases.  

758 people been tested for COVID-19 at the state lab since they were made available on Feb. 28, according to CDPHE. Officials said private labs are biw also conducting tests, and are not required to report negative cases.

COVID-19 is a virus that first appeared in Wuhan, China in late 2019. Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, cough and breathing trouble. Most develop only mild symptoms. But some people, usually those with other medical complications, develop more severe symptoms, including pneumonia, which can be fatal. 

>NOTE: Due to the large number of new cases that continue to come in, CPDHE said on March 14 it will shift to reporting aggregate data for new cases instead of listing the details of each individual case.

Denver County (25 cases)

  • A man in his 40s who was is the parent of a student at St. Anne's Episcopal School in Denver. The school closed early Friday after learning about the possible exposure. He recently traveled internationally, CDPHE said.

RELATED: Denver school closes after student's parent tests positive for the coronavirus

  • A woman in her 70s who health officials said was exposed while traveling internationally.
  • A woman in her 30s. CDPHE said she had no known contact with someone with the virus. The organization said she did travel within the U.S. recently.
  • A teenage girl. CDPHE did not specify her age or say if she had been traveling. 
  • A woman in her 40s.
  • A man in his 40s who was exposed through travel
  • A woman in her 30s
  • Man in his 50s exposed during recent travel
  • Man in his 40s.
  • One out-of-state visitor.

Pueblo County (1 case)

  • One person- details unknown

Routt County (1 case)

  • One person who is a visitor from out state

Weld County (5 cases)

  • A man and woman in their 40s from southwest Weld County. They had no travel history to high-risk areas and are currently in isolation until deemed no longer infectious. The exposure is still under investigation.  

Adams County (6 cases)

  • Two women in their 50s
  • One additional case - details unknown

Arapahoe County (15 cases)

  • A woman in her 30s who lives in Centennial. The Tri-County Health Department said she had recently returned after traveling to India.
  • A male in his 50s who has a recent history of travel in the U.S. and is currently in a hospital, in isolation with serious symptoms.
  • A woman in her 80s. It's under investigation how she contracted the virus.
  • Four additional cases 

Jefferson County (12 cases)

  • A man in his 50s who is "currently isolated in a medical facility." His condition was not known, but he is stable.
  • A man and woman in their 70s are isolated at home after testing positive. They were both exposed during international travel while on a cruise.
  • A woman in her 50s exposed during travel
  • 3 additional cases -details unknown

Douglas County (8 cases)

  • A woman in her 70s who had recently returned from an international cruise. Health officials said Friday she was from Castle Rock. She was also a travel "companion" of one of the Denver County patients who tested "presumptive positive."
  • A woman in her 40s who recently returned from Italy.
  • A female student who had visited the Philippines.  
  • Details about the fourth case were not released

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Eagle County (24 cases)

  • A woman in her 50s who was exposed during international travel.
  • A woman in her 70s. CDPHE said she did not have any known contact with someone who has the virus. She also recently traveled within the US.
  • A male in his 30s.
  • Man in his 70s. It's under investigation to determine how he contracted the virus.
  •  Man in his 40s. Exposed through contact with an infected person
  • Woman in her 60s.  It's under investigation to determine how she contracted the virus. 
  • Woman in her 30s. It's under investigation to determine how she contracted the virus.
  • Man in his 20s. It's under investigation to determine how he contracted the virus.
  • Woman in her 30s. It's under investigation to determine how she contracted the virus.
  • Man in his 80s. It's under investigation to determine how he contracted the virus. 
  • Woman in her 30s. It's under investigation to determine how she contracted the virus. 

El Paso County (4 cases) 

  • One woman in her 80s has died. Health officials said she had underlying health conditions. 
  • A man in his 40s who had recently traveled to California

Larimer County (1 case)

  • A woman in her 50s who was also diagnosed with pneumonia. 

Pitkin County (11 cases, 2 resident, 9 visitors from Australia)

  • A 21-year-old woman who was visiting Aspen returned home to Australia in early March, where she tested positive. Local health officials said on Monday, March 9 that they identified 18 people she had contact with Aspen. All of them are Australian and were in the same travel group as the woman who tested positive. Thirteen people in that group are showing symptoms of the virus and are in self-isolation while they wait for test results, health officials said. They're looking into her travel history to determine where she might have contracted the virus. 
  • Nine people who had contact with the woman visiting from Australia tested presumptive positive for the virus.
  • Woman in her 20s, under investigation how she was exposed
  • Health officials said three of the people who were symptomatic refused testing but remain in isolation
  • Pitkin County Public Health established a local Coronavirus Hotline 970-429-6186 staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week where it can be determined if you meet the criteria for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing.

Summit County (1 case) 

  • A man in his 30s from California who was visiting Summit County. The man who was infected had known exposure to the virus through close contact with a person with COVID-19 outside of Colorado, health officials said. Summit County Public Health said the man stayed in Keystone at the Slopeside Condos.

Gunnison County (8 cases)

  • Health officials said Tuesday a woman in her 40s had tested positive for the virus in Gunnison County.  They later clarified she actually resides in Denver County and had ties to Gunnison County
  • Two women in their 50s tested presumptive positive. It's under investigation to determine how they contracted the virus.
  • Woman in her 40s. Exposed during recent travel.

Boulder County (3 cases)

Clear Creek County (1 case)

Garfield County (1 case)

Mesa County (1 case)

Waiting on additional information (2 cases)

CPDHE said officials are waiting for more information on two-of-state visitors who have tested positive.

Unknown county (1 case)

RELATED: Man visiting Colorado, woman in DougCo test positive for coronavirus

RELATED: Denver school closes after student's parent tests positive for the coronavirus

RELATED: FAQs: The latest on coronavirus in Colorado

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To help prevent the spread, people should:

  • Wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home when they are sick.
  • Cover their cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

RELATED: Advice from a doctor: Coronavirus do's and don'ts

If you are feeling ill with symptoms similar to those associated with COVID-19 the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment (DDPHE) recommends the following:

  • Manage your symptoms at home the same way you manage other cold symptoms. To the extent possible, people with flu-like symptoms should remain at home.
  • If you need medical care, contact your primary care provider and schedule a visit. Let them know that you are concerned you might have COVID-19.
  • Only contact 911 for emergencies requiring immediate life-saving care and let them know if you are concerned you might have COVID-19.
  • Restrict visits to the hospital emergency room or urgent care - only individuals needing immediate care should visit these facilities. If you must visit an ER or urgent care facility, call ahead and let them know that you are concerned you might have COVID-19.

 CDC's testing guidance includes three types of people:

  1. Those who have symptoms such as fever OR lower respiratory symptoms (cough or shortness of breath) and have had "close contact" with a confirmed coronavirus patient within 14 days of their first symptoms.
  2. Those who have fever AND/OR lower respiratory symptoms, require hospitalization and have traveled to areas impacted by the epidemic in the last 14 days.
  3. Patients with fever and severe, acute lower respiratory symptoms who require hospitalization, and for whom no other diagnosis has been found — such as the flu. No travel or contact exposure is needed.

DDPHE said it's working with city leadership to ensure that public health and safety measures are ready to be implemented in the event of a local outbreak with community transmission. 

Those measures could include limiting large gatherings and encouraging employers to allow employees to work from home whenever possible.  

Members of the public with general questions can call CO HELP at 1-877-462-2911 to be connected with a local public health representative. They can also visit denvergov.org/dphe.

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