Colorado confirms first cases of coronavirus

State taking ‘aggressive approach’ to testing for COVID-19
Although most cases of COVID-19 are mild, contractors could expect to see some disruptions. (Photo: Milkos, Dreamstime)

On Thursday, Gov. Jared Polis announced Colorado has its first case of COVID-19, a new strain of coronavirus that has already caused last-minute cancellations at the Colorado Convention Center and caused United Airlines to waive change fees and cut flight schedules.

[Related: 4 ways to break down common communication barriers on the jobsite]

A man in his 30s, visiting Summit County, tested positive for the virus but is being considered a “presumptive positive” until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirm results, 9News reported.

Polis said during a press conference that while preparing for the conference, a second presumptive positive case in Colorado was confirmed. Details were not available, but Polis said it appeared to be unconnected to the first case.

“For all intents and purposes, it is positive,” Polis said of the first case, but “it needs to be confirmed by CDC to be officially called positive.”

Colorado is taking an aggressive approach to testing, according to Jill Ryan, executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The state is testing any suspected case of COVID-19, and health care providers don’t need approval from CDPHE before testing.

“Because we’re testing more frequently, we’re going to start to see cases more frequently,” she said.

Although most cases of COVID-19 are mild, contractors could expect to see some disruptions, even before the virus was confirmed in Colorado.

On Tuesday, the Federal Reserve FOMC cut the federal funds rate to 1.25% and 1% in response to demand- and supply-side impacts caused by the virus’s spread.

“For residential construction, these supply-chain issues concern products like lighting, resilient flooring, plumbing fixtures and household appliances, as well as materials like particulate filter face masks used for construction purposes,” Dietz wrote in a blog post.

“On the demand-side, declines in consumer sentiment and expected decreases in economic activity like travel, tourism, conferences and business meetings would depress economic activity mid-year,” he added.

Dietz noted that declines instigated by black swan events like this “are typically followed by a period of rebounding economic growth.”

Some resources for contractors wondering what to do about COVID-19.

  • CDC has extensive information about COVID-19 and how it spreads, that extent of the virus’s spread and information for businesses and employers.
  • CDHPE has started updating COVID-19 test results on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and provides information about who will be tested.
  • OSHA points out that the risk of infection for most workers is pretty low. It offers some guidance on which standards might apply to protecting workers, hazard recognition and medical information for employers who discover an employee has been exposed.
  • The National Association of Home Builders offers resources for business continuity and event planning.
  • The Associated General Contractors of America has a guide with a background on the disease and its symptoms and steps employers can take.  

Danielle Andrus

Editor, Colorado Builder Magazine

Danielle Andrus has 222 posts and counting. See all posts by Danielle Andrus

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