The Arapahoe County woman in her 30s recently returned from international travel to India and lives in Centennial. This is the first presumptive positive test for a person in Arapahoe County.
“We are just learning of this positive test from Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and will begin our contact investigation to determine if there were any other potential exposures,” said John M. Douglas, Jr., MD, Executive Director of Tri-County Health Department.
The case is a “presumptive positive” because the initial testing was done at the state level, and test results will be confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). TCHD is working closely with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to work with each family and to protect the health and safety of Coloradans.
“The Arapahoe County commissioners are in regular contact about COVID-19 with Tri-County Health and other relevant officials and stakeholders,” said Arapahoe County Board of Commissioners chair Nancy Sharpe. “We urge all of our residents to heed the guidance from Tri-County and the CDC, and to follow their websites for information about this evolving situation. We at the County will update our websites and social media platforms as new developments arise. We also invite our residents to join in our virtual town hall event about this issue on Wednesday evening.” Information about how to participate in the town hall is below.
If you are feeling ill with symptoms of cough, fever, difficulty breathing similar to those associated with COVID-19:
- Manage your symptoms at home the same way you manage other cold symptoms. We want to reduce the risk of transmission, so to the extent possible, people with flu-like symptoms should remain at home.
- If you need medical care, contact your primary care provider and schedule a visit. Let them know that you are concerned you might have COVID-19.
- Only contact 911 for emergencies requiring immediate life-saving care and let them know if you are concerned you might have COVID-19.
- Restrict visits to the hospital emergency room or urgent care - only individuals needing immediate care should visit these facilities. If you must visit an ER or urgent care facility, call ahead and let them know that you are concerned you might have COVID-19.
CDC’s testing guidance includes three types of people:
- Those who have symptoms such as fever OR lower respiratory symptoms (cough or shortness of breath) and have had "close contact" with a confirmed coronavirus patient within 14 days of their first symptoms.
- Those who have fever AND/OR lower respiratory symptoms, require hospitalization, and have traveled to areas impacted by the epidemic in the last 14 days.
- Patients with fever and severe, acute lower respiratory symptoms who require hospitalization, and for whom no other diagnosis has been found — such as the flu. No travel or contact exposure is needed.
Health officials advise Coloradans to stay informed, take simple disease prevention measures, and to be prepared to shelter at home for an extended period of time, as if preparing for a major snow event.
- Practice good hygiene. Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water. In the absence of soap and water, use hand-sanitizer.
- Use your elbow or sleeve to cover coughs and sneezes. If you use a tissue, throw it away and promptly wash your hands.
- Stay home if you are sick, even if you think you only have the flu, a cold or allergies-- and keep your children home if they are sick. Talk to your employer about their sick policy and telecommuting.
- Stay informed with reliable, up-to-date information by visiting www.tchd.org/coronavirus and www.cdc.gov/covid19.
If you have general questions about COVID-19 coronavirus disease, call the CO-HELP InfoLine at 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911 or email COHELP@RMPDC.org, for answers in English, Spanish, Chinese, and more.
On Wednesday, March 11, 7– 8:30 p.m., Douglas, Adams and Arapahoe Counties will host a COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall with the opportunity to hear directly from Tri-County Health Department officials: Dr. John Douglas, executive director; Dr. Bernadette Ann Albanese, medical epidemiologist; and Michele Askenazi, MPH, CHES, the department’s director of emergency preparedness, response, and communicable disease surveillance. Tri-County Health Department serves more than 1.5 million people in Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas Counties and is the largest local public health agency in the state.
The virtual town hall will be aired live from 7-8:30 p.m., on the County’s website at ArapahoeGov.com, as well as on the County’s Facebook page. A Spanish translation of the event will also be available. The recorded event will be posted online following the meeting. Callers may also listen in and ask questions during the town hall by dialing 1-855-436-3656.
Tri-County Health Department officials will provide updates on the status of the virus in the three-county area. They will also provide information about proactive measures being taken to maximize community safety and other fundamental information such as: what is the transmission risk; what are the best actions individuals and businesses can take right now; and more. Virtual town hall participants may ask questions both before and during the live event and receive answers from Tri-County Health, county leaders and emergency management staff.
Residents and business owners from all three counties may immediately post questions that will help officials from each county, and from Tri-County Health, learn more about some of the most frequently asked COVID-19 questions in their communities, and to have the opportunity to research the answers before the meeting.
Tri-County Health Department serves over 1.5 million people in Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas Counties. It provides over 60 programs and services including birth certificates, immunizations, WIC, restaurant inspections, family planning, STI/HIV Testing, and infectious disease investigations. For more information, visit www.tchd.org Twitter @TCHDHealth or Facebook @cotchd.
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