Garfield County reports its first case of the coronavirus

Update: Go here to read an updated story featuring an interview with the first person to test positive for COVID-19 in Garfield County, a 33-year-old woman who likely became ill after attending a concert in Aspen.

Garfield County Public Health on Saturday is reporting the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Garfield County, as the number of cases of the coronavirus continues to grow around the state.

According to a press release sent at 4:41 p.m. Saturday from county health officials, the individual is a woman in her 30s who had contact with the travelers who tested positive for COVID-19 in Pitkin County.

“She has not been hospitalized and is recovering in self-quarantine,” according to the release. “Garfield County Public Health will be contacting those who may have had potential exposure.”

The case is presumptive positive, which means test results haven’t been confirmed yet by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Also Saturday, Vail Resorts announced that it would be suspending operations Sunday through March 22 in response to COVID-19, as cases also continued to grow in Eagle County.

“Colorado is strong and we will get through this together,” Gov. Jared Polis said in a statement. “The safety and health of our most vulnerable and of our communities is our top priority. I commend Vail Resorts for taking this difficult, responsible step and urge other mountains and resorts to do the same. Coloradans and our business community must continue to rise to meet the demand of these challenging times and everyone must do their part in stopping the spread of this virus.”

Earlier in the day, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said there were 24 new confirmed cases before the one in Garfield County was reported, bringing the total number in the state to 102.

The newest cases were in various counties across the state, including the first resident of Pitkin County to test positive after several Australian visitors to Aspen had tested presumptive positive earlier in the week. The others were from Denver (5), Eagle (4), Arapahoe (3), Gunnison and Jefferson (2 each), and one each in El Paso, Mesa and Weld counties. Another involved someone from out of state who was in Denver.

Cases involved 23 residents and one visitor, 13 male and 11 female ranging in age from their 20s to 80s, according to the earlier release.

To date, only one COVID-19 related death has occurred in Colorado, involving a woman in her 80s from El Paso County.

The test results included 20 from the state lab and four from private testing facilities that are receiving samples from health care providers.

The state confirmed it has completed test results on approximately 800 people in Colorado since testing started on Feb. 28. 

This is a developing story and will be updated periodically.

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