Thursday, March 12, 2020

COVID-19: 33 cases in Colorado as of 3 p.m. March 11

Posted By on Thu, Mar 12, 2020 at 12:08 PM

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment was counting 33 presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 as of 3 p.m. March 11.

COVID-19 is a member of the coronavirus family of viruses, named for the crown-like spikes on their surfaces. Some coronaviruses lead to the common cold, while others — such as SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) and COVID-19 — can lead to more serious symptoms in some people.

So far, only one of Colorado's presumptive positive COVID-19 cases has been counted in El Paso County. The patient, a man in his 40s, had recently traveled within the United States, according to CDPHE.

Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, runny nose, cough and breathing trouble. For most people, the symptoms are mild, but those with other medical complications are at higher risk of developing more severe symptoms such as pneumonia.

Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat, declared a state of emergency in Colorado on March 10 in order to "more effectively contain the spread of COVID-19 and avoid greater disruption."

With the declaration, the state will boost testing capacity for COVID-19 (also known as novel coronavirus), waive testing costs, launch drive-up labs for testing, and ensure paid leave for affected hospitality, food handling, child care, health care and education workers.

The state's first drive-up community testing lab opened March 11 in Denver, for patients with a doctor's order and photo ID.

Also on March 11, the state's Division of Motor Vehicles began allowing Coloradans 65 and older to renew their driver's licenses online for the duration of the governor's emergency order. Visit for more information.

To reduce risks due to COVID-19, Colorado College announced March 10 that it will extend spring break by one week, through March 29.

Block 7 will begin March 30 with distance-learning classes only. (Instead of four-month semesters, the college schedules classes in 3.5-week blocks, with four days off in between blocks.) Before Block 8, the school will evaluate whether to have students return for in-person classes in May.

As of March 12, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs was still operating normally, but information posted online describes precautionary measures for students who have recently traveled to countries with a high number of cases:

"UCCS Wellness Center staff contacted all individuals on campus from high risk areas to assess travel history and discuss symptoms to monitor for. They are also screening all patients who visit Health Services for travel history, possible exposures to COVID-19 and current illnesses when they come in for a visit."

Meanwhile, the Air Force Academy plans to close to visitors starting at 5 p.m. March 13.

"This restriction does not impact access for on-base residents, Air Academy High School students and faculty, Department of Defense ID card holders, or anyone conducting official business," the Academy said in a statement. "Gate hours also remain unchanged."

To reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, health experts urge people to:

- Frequently and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, or use your inner elbow or sleeve.
- Avoid directly touching frequently contacted surfaces, such as elevator buttons or door handles, in public spaces. (Use a tissue to cover your hand or finger if you have to touch something.)
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay home if you’re sick, and keep your children home if they are sick.
- Clean surfaces in your home, and personal items such as cell phones, using regular household products.

Helpful resources:

For the latest COVID-19 information from CDPHE, visit

For updated case totals, visit CDPHE's Fast Facts page.

If you have general questions about COVID-19, call the CO-HELP call line at 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911, for answers in many languages, or email for answers in English.

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