San Miguel County Department of Public Health and Environment today announced five new cases of county residents who have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases to six in the county.

Three of the five new cases were from the group of 100 tested by Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and the National Guard two weeks ago (March 17).  

County Public Health made phone contact with these three individuals Tuesday night after learning late yesterday that CDPHE released the positive cases on its state website without notifying the county or the individuals of their results. 

These three positive cases from the CDPHE swab testing are: 

  • 73 year-old man, no recent travel, self-isolated and is recovered.
  • 21 year-old female, traveled abroad, self-isolated and is recovered.
  • 22 year-old male, recently traveled, self-isolated and is recovered. 

Grace Franklin, Public Health Director, said she shares in the community’s frustration about the delayed results and said she was not pleased with the notification process.

The fourth new case is a 28 year-old woman who returned from a high-risk geographical area earlier this month and experienced symptoms similar to that of the coronavirus. She immediately “self-isolated” from other members in her household. 

A PCR swab test was done by a healthcare provider with the Telluride Regional Medical Center with full safety protocols in place. Late Tuesday, Public Health was notified of the positive test result, indicating active disease at the time of the testing. 

The patient was immediately called by Public Health and instructed to continue to self-isolate for a total of 14 days since her symptoms began. She is recovering well. 

Any close contacts have been identified and appropriate steps have been taken in each of these cases. 

County Health learned this morning of the fifth new case, a 67 year-old female who had a travel history. Her PCR swab test was also done by healthcare providers at TMC. She too had self-isolated and is recovering well. 

The first case of COVID-19 in the county (reported to county health on March 19) was a 54 year-old man who had traveled domestically. He has told Public Health he is recovered.

County Medical Officer Dr. Sharon Grundy said, “To the extent we have new positive cases, we are pleased that each of these individuals did an excellent job self-isolating and all are recovered or recovering well.”

Public Health Director Grace Franklin emphasized the importance of the stay at home order and physical distancing. 

“We also need to remind people that it is critical that they self-isolate if they are sick, even without a positive test,” she said. “We simply can’t take the risk that they spread this disease.”

County health officials are working to get clarification from CDPHE about the remaining CDPHE swab tests and will release that information as soon as it becomes available. 

Meantime, call CDPHE to place your name on a call list for results. That number is 303-692-2700. 

SAN MIGUEL COUNTY LIST OF POSITIVE COVID-19 CASES

  1. 54 year-old male     (SMC swab test)
  2. 73 year-old male     (CDPHE swab test)
  3. 21 year-old female    (CDPHE swab test)
  4. 22 year-old male    (CDPHE swab test)
  5. 28 year-old female    (SMC swab test)
  6. 67 year-old female     (SMC swab test)