Denver Public Health and Environment: City is prepared in case of coronavirus outbreak

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DENVER (KDVR) – As concern for the coronavirus continues to spread, public health officials in Denver say that the city is ready in case of an outbreak.

According to Denver’s Department of Public Health and Environment, Denver is constantly prepping and practicing its pandemic protocols.

“We have quarantine and isolation protocols in place. We have communications in place to reach out to employers, schools, to provide guidance should coronavirus infection enter into their facilities,” said Bob McDonald, executive director of Denver Department of Public Health and Environment.

Denver’s quarantine procedure begins with isolating patients sick with the virus in a hospital setting. DPHE could then order quarantines for anyone who may have come in contact with an infected patient but are not yet symptomatic.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an outbreak of COVID-19, the strain of coronavirus causing worry across the globe, is imminent in the United States.

“I agree with the CDC that it’s just a matter of time before it comes here,” McDonald said.

With more than 200,000 people passing through Denver International Airport on its busiest days, there are questions about whether DIA could deliver COVID-19 to Colorado.

“I don’t think it elevates us or puts us more at risk than any place else,” McDonald said.

He says unless you are traveling to China, South Korea, Japan, Iran or Italy, you should not cancel your upcoming vacations or trips.

“Travel. Follow through with your plans. The precautions that travelers need to implement are the same that they would implement to avoid contracting a common cold,” McDonald said.

Public health officials are urging the public to wash their hands thoroughly and often with soap and warm water and to sanitize heavily used surfaces and items, like tables, desks, keyboards and cellphones.

No confirmed cases of the virus have been reported in Colorado.

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