Officials in Summit County, CO, home to Breckenridge, Keystone, Copper, and Arapahoe Basin ski areas, confirmed yesterday that a visitor to the area has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, or coronavirus.
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It was announced on Wednesday evening that a patient was being screened at St. Anthony Summit Medical Center in Frisco, CO for the virus.
The patient, who had recently been to Italy, took himself to the emergency department earlier that day after developing respiratory problems Tuesday.
A test was performed at the hospital, which returned a presumptive positive result and the first known case of COVID-19 in the state.
The patient is a man in his 30s who was visiting the area from California. He flew into Denver International Airport on February 29th, then traveled to Summit County in a rental car. He stayed in Keystone and skied at Vail and Keystone with two friends during his trip. His fiancee is in quarantine.
Public health officials are working to identify others who might have come into contact with the man. Another person from Grand County, CO, home to Winter Park and Ski Granby Ranch ski areas, has also been tested for the virus.
“We are hopeful that the patient will have a swift recovery,” state public health department Executive Director Jill Hunsaker Ryan said in a news release about the results. “Like other states, we expected to begin seeing cases in Colorado, and that is why we have been preparing for the past couple of months in conjunction with local public health agencies and health care partners. Our goals are to protect the public from the disease, get people the care they need and minimize disruption to daily lives.”
The United States has confirmed at least 233 cases of COVID-19 so far and 14 deaths. 13 of those were in Washington and another n Placer County, CA.
Most coronaviruses cause only mild symptoms, similar to those of the common cold. Other strains, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), can cause pneumonia and death.
There is currently no vaccine to protect against the virus, although the National Institutes of Health has confirmed to news outlets that they were in the “early stages” of developing one.