Tom Gonzales, the Larimer County public health director, answers questions on Northern Colorado response to coronavirus Fort Collins Coloradoan
A Colorado State University Health Network employee has tested positive for the new coronavirus, the university announced Sunday.
The employee is a Larimer County woman in her 30s. She was tested Tuesday after becoming symptomatic earlier that day and the test results were received Sunday.
This is the first known coronavirus case connected to the university.
The employee had not worked the three days prior to being tested, and wore a mask while working Tuesday as a routine precaution prior to being tested. She had limited contact with a small number of patients on Tuesday, according to the university.
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Public health officials have already identified and notified all of the employee’s contacts over the last five days, interviewed them and given each person guidance on how to self-isolate or quarantine.
All those who have potentially been exposed have been notified, the university said in a university-wide email.
“If you have not been notified, you have not been identified as a person who had close contact with the symptomatic employee,” the email said.
Unrelated to this employee’s situation and in response to the virus, the university closed the department where the infected employee worked on Wednesday. As of Wednesday, the health center is continuing to provide services remotely or with medically-advised screening at the entrance to the health center, according to the university.
A medical cleaning crew provides regular cleaning service to the health center multiple times a day, the university said, “including the area where the staff member was known to have been throughout the days before she became symptomatic.”
“At this time, we have no indication that the employee was exposed to the virus while working in the Health and Medical Center,” said Lori Lynn, co-chair of the university’s pandemic planning response task force and associate executive director of the CSU Health Network. “At this time, based on information from public health officials responding to the case and the routine deep cleanings already performed in the space multiple times a day, a closure of the Health and Medical Center is not warranted.”
The health center is now using cleaners approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to clean the facility. The health center is always closed on Sundays.
The university has also moved all classes online for the rest of the spring semester, asked all students living on campus who are able to move out of the residence halls, and postponed spring graduation ceremonies to December.
As of Sunday morning, Larimer County has 32 positive cases of COVID-19.
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Sady Swanson covers crime, courts, public safety and more throughout Northern Colorado. You can send your story ideas to her at email@example.com or on Twitter at @sadyswan. Support our work and local journalism with a digital subscription at Coloradoan.com/subscribe.
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