72 coronavirus cases confirmed in Colorado; Polis calls for cancellation of large gatherings

Coronavirus

DENVER — Gov. Jared Polis is calling for the cancellation of gatherings of more than 250 people in Colorado as coronavirus spreads across the state.

In a press conference Friday morning, the governor said there are now 72 presumptive positive cases of the virus in Colorado. Eight of those people are in the hospital, and three of them are in critical condition, according to the governor.

Two of the new cases are in southern Colorado. One is in El Paso County, which already had one previously reported case, and one is in Pueblo County.

A woman in El Paso County has died of the virus, health officials said Friday afternoon. It’s not clear if she was one of the two previously reported cases in the county.

The Pueblo health department said the case in that county is an adult man who is currently isolated at home and recovering.

At least four of Colorado’s cases are evidence of community spread in the Denver metro area. Community spread has also been confirmed in Colorado ski resort areas.

As of noon Friday, cases have been confirmed in the following counties:

  • Adams County: 3
  • Arapahoe County: 7
  • Denver County: 13
  • Douglas County: 3
  • Eagle County (includes Vail): 14
  • El Paso County: 2
  • Gunnison County (includes Crested Butte): 3
  • Jefferson County: 6
  • Larimer County: 1
  • Pitkin County (includes Aspen): 1
  • Pueblo County: 1
  • Summit County: 2
  • Weld County: 2
  • Out of state visitors – 14 (Currently located in these counties):
    • Pitkin – 9
    • Eagle – 2
    • Routt – 1
    • Waiting on information – 2

Polis said “it is just a matter of time” until Colorado sees its first coronavirus fatality.

The governor said Coloradans should not focus on the number of cases.

“In all likelihood, there are hundreds, or maybe thousands, of Coloradans who have coronavirus,” he said.

Instead, he urged Coloradans to keep perspective and do their part to stop the spread of the virus. He said Coloradans are still more likely to get a cold or the flu than to get coronavirus.

Watch the governor’s press conference:

The governor said most people who get the virus will have only mild symptoms. He noted the coronavirus fatality rate is significantly higher among people in their 70s and 80s than among young people.

The governor said he is reaching out to event organizers, faith leaders, and others to call for the cancellation of public gatherings of more than 250 people, unless they can ensure a distance of at least six feet between attendees.

The wave of cancellations and postponements due to the virus continues Friday. Locally, the Space Foundation announced the postponement of this year’s Space Symposium, and the Air Force Academy said they will dismiss a large segment of the cadet population.

>> More coverage of coronavirus in Colorado

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