Colorado remains clear of the coronavirus

Even as the cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 spreads in the United States, Colorado health officials say the risk of contracting the virus is still low.

As of Feb. 26, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state and 12 tests sent to the Centers of Disease Control for confirmation of the virus have returned as negative, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

 

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Four tests are either in route to the CDC or are awaiting confirmation testing at the agency, the state said.

Colorado health officials say people with the greatest risk of contracting the coronavirus are those who have recently traveled to China or who have close contacts with people diagnosed with COVID-19.

There are also many kinds of coronaviruses currently circulating in Colorado and the United States that cause respiratory illness. But those coronaviruses are not COVID-19, health officials said.

COVID-19 is able to spread from person-to-person and has caused disease ranging from mild to severe, including disease resulting in death. Most cases of severe illness are still limited to mainland China, health officials said.

“We don’t know how the illness will unfold in Colorado, but from what we understand right now, most people are unlikely to be exposed to this virus,” according to a statement from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “We don’t know yet exactly how or how easily COVID-19 can spread between humans, but likely it spreads like other coronaviruses – mostly through coughing and sneezing or close personal contact.”

People can protect themselves from COVID-19 by cleaning their hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub. People should also close their mouths and noses when coughing and sneezing, officials said.

People should also stay home when sick.