2 people test positive for coronavirus in Colorado, are isolated

DENVER (AP) — Two people were in isolation Friday after testing positive for the new coronavirus in Colorado, marking the state’s first cases in the global outbreak.

Gov. Jared Polis announced both cases during a news conference Thursday. The first is a man in his 30s who was visiting from out of state when he checked into a hospital in Frisco, near many of Colorado’s ski resorts, because of a possible respiratory illness. The man had traveled to Italy but did not show any symptoms when he flew to Colorado Feb. 29, Polis said.

State and local health officials later said the second person infected was an elderly woman from Douglas County near Denver who was exposed to the virus while on an international cruise. The woman is isolated at home with limited contact with relatives and health care providers, the Tri-County Health Department said.

The man who came to Colorado to ski stayed in a condominium with his fiancee and two friends, Polis said. All three have been quarantined.

Health officials don’t believe that he exposed any other travelers, Polis said. Summit County and state health officials were investigating to see if anyone else was in close contact with the man.

The man is recovering in isolation in Jefferson County outside of Denver and is feeling well, the governor said. He will likely be in isolation for two to three weeks.

Colorado was relying on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct tests, but the state health department has said it can now test up to 160 samples a day at its laboratory with results expected within 24 hours.

The state also is testing specimens from patients who have symptoms and have either been in contact with someone else confirmed to have the virus or have traveled to parts of the world where infection rates are high.

“The more we can test, the quicker we can identify, the higher the likelihood of successful containment is. It’s really that simple,” Polis said.

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