The Johnstown woman who is Larimer County’s first case of COVID-19 remains in isolation at her home while health officials work to track down people with whom she may have come in contact.
While the source of her infection is still being investigated, health officials believe it is related to international travel and was not contracted locally.
“This patient has close contact with somebody who has had recent international travel to areas with COVID-19 spread,” Katie O’Donnell, spokeswoman for the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment, said. She stressed multiple areas, not just one.
“We’re trying to reiterate that community spread means that it is transmitted here,” O’Donnell said when reached by phone Tuesday afternoon. “We’re suspecting that this is travel related … We don’t expect to have community spread here.”
The woman is in her 50s with pneumonia and is quarantined to her home. She has not had any contact within the Thompson School District or other colleges, universities or school districts in the region.
“This person is home with an isolation order and is compliant with everything we’re asking,” Tom Gonzales, Larimer County’s public heath director, said at a public meeting on Tuesday morning.
Health officials are working to identify people with whom the Johnstown woman may have had close contact and to issue isolation and quarantine orders for those people. O’Donnell did not say how many there were by Tuesday afternoon, only that some had been issued and that people were voluntarily complying with the restrictions.
She does not know what area of Johnstown the woman lives in, only that it is in Larimer County, but she did note that the sections of the town that are in Larimer County are limited. Larimer County Commissioner Tom Donnelly also pointed that out earlier Tuesday during a public meeting, saying, “There’s not much of (Johnstown) in Larimer County. It’s almost like suburban Loveland.”
“The individual does live in the Johnstown area on the Larimer County side,” Gonzales said during the Tuesday commissioners meeting. “We are working jointly with Weld County because there are interactions on both sides.”
Officials are continuing to look into whether the woman had close contact with other people, and additional quarantine and isolation orders may follow, O’Donnell said.
“The risk is for close contact,” she stressed. “It’s not, ‘I went to the grocery store, and she might have been there.’ It’s people who have been in close contact, like 6 feet or less, for an extended period of time.”
State health officials announced Monday that there were 12 confirmed cases in Colorado, one in Larimer County. This remains the only case within Larimer County.
And though health officials expect to see more, they are not anticipating community spread of the disease. But they are working with government and other officials to be prepared in case there is an outbreak.
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