Friday, March 20, Park County government sent out a press release detailing the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the county.

COVID-19 is the name of the symptoms caused by the novel coronavirus, which is moving through some of the population in the United States and the world, and according to worldofmeters.info, “The coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting 188 countries and territories around the world … ”

According to the press release, the patient is in self-isolation and county health officials are trying to determine how many other people the patient may have been in contact with.

The main body of the press release reads as follows:

“Park County Public Health is reporting the first case with a positive laboratory test of COVID-19 in the county.

“The patient is a male in his 20s who was probably exposed in another county on the front-range. The patient was not hospitalized and is self-isolating at his residence. The patient has been working with public health officials in the investigation to identify anyone he may have had contact with.

“Park County Public Health and its partners will focus their response on slowing the spread of the disease locally. These efforts will require community assistance.

“While approximately 80 percent of people who have contracted COVID-19 have relatively mild illness, there are greater risks for complications among older adults, especially above the age of 80 years, as well as for people with preexisting health conditions.

“Public Health officials are reminding residents and visitors that the individual precautions they can take to limit exposure to themselves are the same precautions that can help slow the spread of COVID-19 within the community. These precautions will also help protect people in our community who may be at greatest risk for complications if they get infected.”

Local emergency declared

March 19, the county declared a local emergency, which helps facilitate access to funding, both from state and federal agencies.

The announcement on the county web site read as follows:

“Park County declared a local emergency disaster in response to the COVID-19 emergency in Colorado. The declaration is an administrative tool that can help facilitate access to funding and other resources.

“County officials made the decision to file the declaration because the costs of responding to and recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic will likely be greater than the county’s available resources.

“This declaration will be in effect until the Board of County Commissioners take action to terminate it. Emergency declarations are a common response to the COVID-19 emergency as the virus is emerging in communities.”

Be perpared

The Park County website, which can be accessed at www.parkco.us, provides extensive information pertaining to the coronavirus. The site offers the following information for those who believe they are suffering COVID-19 symptom from the coronavirus:

If you have COVID-19 symptons, first call a health care provider, clinic or hospital.

The healthcare provider will assess your illness on the phone and provide information or guidance for you, household members, and other close contacts.

Testing for the coronavirus is not a routine test.

The healthcare provider will assess your symptoms and risk for the disease based on guidance from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

The provider will give you instructions on whether you need to be tested and on where to go to receive your examination.

People who have general questions about the coronavirus disease can call CO HELP at 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911 for answers in many languages. Email COHELP@RMPDC.org for answers in English.

Coloradans can also visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov, or the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment website at www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/2019-novel-coronavirus for more information or best practices.

Those with upcoming travel plans can also visit the State Department’s website for the latest travel information.

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