State records first COVID-19 fatality

A comparison of flu and COVID-19 symptoms.

A woman in her 80s was confirmed as the state’s first COVID-19 fatality.

The victim lived in El Paso County and had underlying health conditions, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said.

“While we were expecting this delay, it doesn’t make it any less difficult to hear and share this news,” Gov. Jared Polis said. “As a state, we are in mourning and our hearts go out to the family and loved ones of the Coloradan we lost.”

Since the coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) was first diagnosed in Coloradans, the state has recorded more than 70 presumptively positive cases. (Presumptively positive means state lab results showing a positive are being confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

There are no reported cases in Montrose County, although there are three in Gunnison County.

Locally, medical providers are able to test for COVID-19, but people who think they are experiencing symptoms should not just go into a medical office or the emergency room. They should call their providers for an assessment and proceed as directed. 

Montrose County Public Health has the ability to test with equipment that meets specifications. Test kits are on the way. According to the county, three tests had been administered with existing equipment as of Friday morning.

Please note: Montrose County Public Health is experiencing a high call volume.

COVID-19 is a new strain of a coronavirus that causes respiratory illness. Key symptoms include fever, cough and, particularly, shortness of breath and these ordinarily present within two and 14 days of exposure.

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