DENVER | Eight people were being kept in isolation on Friday after testing positive for the new coronavirus in Colorado, marking the state’s first cases in the global outbreak.
On Friday, Denver health officials said two residents of the city had tested positive. They were displaying symptoms but were not hospitalized, Denver Public Health & Environment said.
The Colorado Department of Health and Environment said one of the cases involved a man in his 40s, with the investigation ongoing. The second involved a woman in her 70s who was exposed during international travel.
In Douglas County outside Denver, a woman in her 40s who recently traveled to Italy and a student who recently visited the Philippines tested positive, according to the state and Tri-County health departments.
Both have mild illnesses and are isolated at home, Tri-County executive director John Douglas said in a statement Friday. The student did not attend classes after returning from the Philippines, he said.
Also Friday, El Paso County Public Health said a man in his 40s who recently traveled to California had tested positive. The man was in stable condition and in isolation, the department said.
An Eagle County woman in her 50s who recently traveled abroad tested positive, state officials said.
The state’s first two cases — a man in his 30s visiting Colorado on a ski vacation and an elderly Douglas County woman who had been on an international cruise — were announced by Gov. Jared Polis on Thursday.
Denver Public Health & Environment warned that the number of people testing positive is expected to rise because the U.S. Centers for Disease Control is now allowing providers to test patients on their own without help from county health departments.
The man on the ski vacation 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.
The man who came to Colorado to ski stayed in a condominium with his fiancee and two friends, Polis said. All three are under a quarantine order.
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.
The elderly Douglas County woman who tested positive after returning from a cruise is isolated at home with limited contact with relatives and health care providers, the Tri-County Health Department said.
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.