The two cases are not connected, according to public health officials.
*Updated on March 5, 2020, at 8:33 p.m.:
Governor Jared Polis announced during a press conference on Thursday that two people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Colorado. Originally, only one person had a test come back as a "presumptive positive."
The two cases are not connected, according to Polis.
Additional information on the second case is not yet available.
Earlier today, the first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was announced by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). According to the CDPHE, the male patient is an out-of-state visitor in his 30s.
"The case had known exposure to the virus through close contact with a person with COVID-19 outside of Colorado," said the CDPHE in a written statement.
This man had traveled to Italy in mid-February with someone who had tested positive for COVID-19. He then flew to Colorado on February 29, landing at Denver International Airport (DIA), where he rented a vehicle. He drove to Summit County with his fiancée and two other Colorado residents, all of whom are under quarantine. It is not certain what he had been doing during his time in Summit County.
When he flew into DIA, he did not have any symptoms, which didn't cause for alarm, as he was a low risk for spreading the virus.
"We are aware of the presumptive positive COVID-19 patient identified in Colorado," said DIA spokesperson Alex Renteria in a statement. "We are working with the CDPHE to verify the patient’s travel details. The CDC will make the ultimate decision whether passengers on his flight need to be notified and they would make the notification."
Currently, this man is being treated in Denver, and he will remain there, in isolation, until cleared by health officials. However, where he is being treated is not public knowledge.
The testing was done at the state level, said CDPHE. It's being called a "presumptive positive," meaning it will have to be sent to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for an official confirmation.
"The department is working with the local public health agencies to identify any close contacts who may have been exposed while the person was infectious. Public health practitioners will attempt to contact anyone who may have been exposed and monitor them for signs and symptoms of COVID-19," officials said.
Executive Director of the CDPHE Jill Hunsaker Ryan has stated that the agency is "hopeful" that this man will have a swift recovery.
"Like other states, we expected to begin seeing cases in Colorado and that is why we have been preparing for the past couple of months, in conjunction with local public health agencies and healthcare partners," Hunsaker Ryan added. "Our goals are to protect the public from the disease, get people the care they need, and minimize disruption to daily lives."
State health officials said that they are working with local public health agencies in order to identify those who may have been exposed while the man was infectious, as well as try to contact anyone who may have been exposed so they can monitor them for COVID-19.