Bridge club remembers first COVID death in Colorado

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EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — When the pandemic first hit Colorado, the Colorado Springs Bridge Center unfortunately was one of the spots that saw the virus quickly spread.

The El Paso County Public Health department stated that on March 13, 2020, the first Coloradan died from the coronavirus. It was an elderly woman who was also a member of the Colorado Springs Bridge Center. 

EPCPH stated back in 2020 that the woman was playing bridge and exposed dozens of others in the bridge group between the dates of Feb. 27, 2020 to March 3, 2020. EPCPH stated that the woman was unaware that she was experiencing symptoms related to coronavirus. 

“This case was an example of what happens with COVID-19 if you don’t have precaution measures in place,” Kimberly Pattison, the Program Manager for Communicable Disease and Tuberculosis with EPCPH said. 

Pattison said looking back a year later, in the moment when the pandemic first hit, the health department was focused on people coming back to El Paso County from out of the country and state. Pattison stated this woman who died from COVID-19 hadn’t traveled recently. 

“When we went through the case history and understand the number of contacts this person had while infected and those contacts were elderly, we knew this was going to have some wide-ranging ramifications,” Pattinson said. 

The days following the woman’s death, more positive cases came from the bridge center and people this woman was around. 

“I don’t have exact numbers but I do know we did have many people become ill. We had several hospitalizations come out of that and a few more deaths related to it,” Pattison said. 

Pattison stated this case was the perfect storm and it was during a time when everything with COVID was new to Colorado. She said the bridge center was great about communicating so they could contact trace all of those who came in contact with the woman. 

“We didn’t expect to have a case take off so quickly, so fast,” Pattison said.  

Just a year later, Colorado now has over 6,000 deaths due to COVID. 

The Colorado Bridge group has moved to have everything online so members can still play. 

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