Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Coronavirus

On February 11, 2020 the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak, COVID-19. EPCPH will be updating our website and other materials to reflect the updated name.

We understand people may be concerned about COVID-19 and how it may affect them. However, Colorado has no cases and the risk of COVID-19 for Coloradans is low at this time. 

Coronavirus 2019-nCoV Global Cases

If you have general questions about COVID-19, you can call CO HELP at 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911. You can also email [email protected] for answers in English and Spanish (Español), Mandarin (普通话), and more. 

What we know

  • The risk to most people at this time is low.
  • People who are at greatest risk for this virus are:
    • People who recently traveled from China.
    • Close contacts of people who were diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • At this time of year, there are many causes of respiratory illness in Colorado and around the globe.
  • There are many kinds of coronaviruses currently circulating in Colorado and the U.S. that cause respiratory illness. These coronaviruses are not COVID-19.
  • People who have symptoms and a recent travel history to China should contact a health care provider.
    • Symptoms of coronavirus infection include fever, cough and/or shortness of breath. Symptoms usually appear within two to 14 days after exposure.
    • People who have coronavirus symptoms who also have a recent travel history to China should first call a health care provider, urgent care, or hospital for instructions before going to a clinic or emergency room in person.
  • COVID-19 is able to spread from person-to-person and has caused disease ranging from mild to severe, including disease resulting in death. Most cases of severe illness are still limited to mainland China. 

What we don’t know

  • We don’t know how the illness will unfold in Colorado, but from what we understand right now, most people are unlikely to be exposed to this virus.
  • We don’t yet know exactly how or how easily COVID-19 can spread between humans, but likely it spreads like other coronaviruses -- mostly through coughing and sneezing or close personal contact.

What you can do

As with other respiratory viruses, we recommend people protect themselves and others by practicing everyday actions:

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Get an annual flu vaccine if you have not had one.

What El Paso County Public Health is doing 

  • Currently, there is considered to be low health risk to El Paso County residents; however, El Paso County Public Health (EPCPH) remains vigilant of the situation as it changes in order to act in a timely manner.  
  • EPCPH and community partners are ready to activate a response team and are educating responders.
  • EPCPH 2019-nCoV presentation

What the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is doing

  • CDPHE is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and organizations across the state to ensure a response that is strong, proactive, and collaborative. 
  • Providing information about the outbreak and how to report suspect cases to local health departments and health care providers in Colorado.
  • Coordinating with local public health agencies to determine the need for monitoring, quarantine, or other restriction of movement and activities for travelers returning from China.
  • Assuring that health care providers know how to safely manage persons with possible COVID-19 infection.
  • Supporting hospitals and local public health laboratories for collection and shipment of specimens for testing at CDC for COVID-19.
  • Actively monitoring the situation and refining response plans. 
  • For more information, visit the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment's COVID-19 web page. 

For more information about the outbreak, visit the CDC COVID-19 web page. Information on this page is updated daily. 

If you have general questions about COVID-19, please call CO HELP at 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911 or email [email protected], for answers in English and Spanish (Español), Mandarin (普通话), and more.

About coronaviruses

  • Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that have been associated with respiratory illness such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath. These viruses spread through coughing or sneezing, much like the flu.
  • Some coronaviruses are common and regularly cause illness in the U.S. in the fall and winter. Other coronaviruses like MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV have caused outbreaks internationally and have been known to cause severe illness.