The patient is a woman in her 80s with underlying health conditions according to the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment. She was living in El Paso County.
“While we were expecting this day, it doesn't make it any less difficult to hear and share this news. As a state we are in mourning and our hearts go out to the family and loved ones of the Coloradan we lost,” said Governor Jared Polis.
“We care deeply about our older Coloradans and people who have chronic diseases,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “This is an all-hands-on-deck effort to slow the spread and support people during these trying times. We know Coloradans will do whatever it takes to help protect those at risk of getting very sick.”
“We offer our deepest, heartfelt condolences to the family and are saddened by this news,” said Susan Wheelan, El Paso County Public Health Director. “We have a dedicated team of experts working around the clock to protect the health and safety of our community. We are doing everything we can to prevent more loss of lives. We know all of El Paso County, and Colorado, will join us.”
Since the first positive case on March 5, Colorado has:
- Signed an emergency executive order aimed at minimizing the spread of the virus.
- Allocated $4 million dollars to immediately help response efforts in our communities.
- Ordered paid sick leave for workers in many occupations.
- Set public health orders to protect our most at-risk populations, including those who live in nursing homes and similar facilities.
- Issued directions that ensure Coloradans can get access to medical care for COVID-19 without fearing the cost.
- Worked diligently to ensure testing is available for all who need it through either public health or private labs.
Locally, El Paso County Public Health has been working with partners since it learned of COVID-19 (late last year) from the CDC. With partners from the Pikes Peak Regional Office of Emergency Management, public health has:
- Activated the Emergency Coordination Center to assist in resource requests.
- Coordinating with key stakeholders and City and County partners to address community needs.
- Activated a Joint Information Center to field inquiries and streamline communication efforts.
The people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 are:
- Older people (over age 60), especially those over 80 years.
- People who have chronic medical conditions like heart, lung, or kidney disease, or diabetes.
- Older people with chronic medical conditions are at greatest risk.
To ensure expedience on reporting presumptive positive cases, the state will provide overall testing statistics as soon as we are able on the website.