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Denver Identifies 2 'Presumptive' Cases Of Coronavirus, Bringing Total In Colorado To 8

DENVER (CBS4)- The City and County of Denver has identified two people who have tested positive for coronavirus. This comes the day after Colorado's first two COVID-19 cases were announced and just hours before El Paso County announced the first coronavirus case there and another two cases in Douglas County, and another case in Eagle County.

This bring the total number of positive cases of coronavirus in Colorado to eight as of Friday afternoon.

The two cases in Denver are considered "presumptive" until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirm the cases. Both cases are symptomatic and isolated but do not require hospitalization at this time.

Administrators at St. Anne's Episcopal School in Denver closed early on Friday after they say a parent tested positive for coronavirus. The Centers for Disease Control has done or will be conducting a test on the person, who the school says hasn't been on campus in the past month.

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One of the two cases confirmed in Denver on Friday is the parent of a student at St. Anne's Episcopal School.

"Just because a parent may be symptomatic doesn't mean that their child is symptomatic nor infectious to the point where they could infect others. We're talking about incubation periods and symptoms and exposure and the time frames for that. Because we had a parent who had a student who went to school, that student is not infectious. The timing for that isn't right," said Exec. Director of Denver Department of Public Health and Environment Bob McDonald.

In addition to the two cases in Denver, several other individuals, later clarified by the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment, as less than a dozen people, have been quarantined or will be quarantined soon. Those individuals are not symptomatic, but officials are not revealing more details about who those people are.

"The majority of cases of COVID-19 are going to experience no symptoms or very mild symptoms. For everyone who has tested positive that we place under isolation, they will experience symptoms very similar to influenza, but they don't need medical care," said McDonald.

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The two cases confirmed in Douglas County on Friday afternoon include a woman in her 40s who returned from a trip to Italy and a female student who returned from a trip to the Philippines. The student did not attend classes.

The El Paso County case is a male in his 40s with recent travel history to California. He is currently in isolation at home.

The case in Eagle County is a woman in her 50s exposed during international travel.

"I think we will see more cases eventually. We're prepared to manage it," said McDonald.

Symptoms of coronavirus are similar to the flu: fever, cough, and a difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Having symptoms does not mean you should go to the emergency room, instead call your doctor and get instructions from them.

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The first two cases in Colorado announced on Thursday by Gov. Jared Polis are a man in his 30s who is from California and traveled to Summit County in Colorado to go skiing after returning from Italy.

The second case confirmed on Thursday is a woman in her 70s in Douglas County who is in isolation in her home.

"People don't need to start staying at home. They should be aware of if they're in close contact of someone who's coughing or sneezing, they should remove themselves from that situation...they should wash their hands with soap and paper towels... that's critical here. I can't stress that enough," said McDonald.

Additional information from Denver Department of Public Health and Environment:

Residents of Denver need to remember:

  • Wash your 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 your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your 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.

If you are feeling ill with symptoms similar to those associated with COVID-19:

  • Manage your symptoms at home the same way you manage other cold symptoms. We want to reduce the risk of transmission, so 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.
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