SUMMIT COUNTY – Summit County Public Health received a Presumptive positive test result for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on Friday March 13, 2020. The patient provided a sample for testing on March 9th and we received results today from the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE).
The information we can share at this time is that it is a male in his 70’s. He is not hospitalized and has been on self-quarantine since the day before his test. Based on the date of symptom onset, he most likely contracted the virus during recent travel in affected areas in the High Country outside of Summit County. Summit County Public Health is working with CDPHE to identify and contact any individuals who may be at risk of having contracted COVID-19 from this individual. As the investigation continues, SCPH will publish any information related to health risks to the general public.
It is important for the Summit County residents and visitors to understand that it is just a matter of time before we confirm that there is community spread just as we are seeing in other communities across the state. And, although the majority of individuals (>80%) who contract this virus will have mild symptoms, those older than 70 and especially those with underlying health conditions, are more likely to experience severe illness that could be fatal.
So far, across the state, greater than 90% of those tested are negative for COVID-19 and positive for the common cold or the flu.
These are challenging times. It is important for people to be vigilant. Many may feel anxiety, fear, or lack of control. It is important to focus on the things we can control. And take steps to protect those that are most vulnerable to this virus in our community.
Summit County Public Health encourages Summit County residents and visitors to be diligent in practicing behaviors that limit the spread of disease:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the restroom; before eating; after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
- Get a flu shot if you have not already received one this year. Lower numbers of flu cases reduce pressure on health care resources.
- Keep your distance from anyone who is sick.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your inner elbow shirt sleeve, not your hand. Throw any tissues directly in the trash immediately after use.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- If you are concerned about your symptoms, please call the office of your health care provider before you go. Tell them about your travel or contact as well as your symptoms. Your health care professional will work with county and state public health departments and the CDC to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19.
If you are feeling heightened stress or anxiety related to COVID-19, please call the Colorado Crisis Support: 844-493-TALK (8255), Text TALK to 38255 or visit www.ColoradoCrisisServices.org
If COVID-19 does begin to spread in Summit County, at-risk individuals should stay home as much as possible to avoid contact with other people. They should enlist friends or family members who are at lower risk to bring food and other supplies to the house. At-risk individuals who do not have locally based, low-risk friends or family should contact Summit County Human Services at 970-668-2940 for assistance with critical supplies like food and medication.
To learn more about the 2019 novel coronavirus, including symptoms and prevention, visit the State of Colorado’s COVID-19 webpage, which also includes a link to outbreak data from the CDC.
People who have general questions about COVID-19 can call CO-Help at 303-389-1687 or 877-462-2911, or email COHELP@RMPDC.org, for answers in English and Spanish.