9 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus reported in Summit County | SummitDaily.com

9 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus reported in Summit County

A COVID-19 testing kit pictured at St. Anthony Summit Medical Center in Frisco on March 6.
Liz Copan / ecopan@summitdaily.com

DILLON — Summit County has reported its ninth case of the novel coronavirus.

At 10:30 a.m. Sunday, county officials confirmed a ninth case of the virus that causes COVID-19. The eighth case was reported Friday. In a post on its coronavirus webpage, Summit County Public Health officials explained that the number of positive test results are not indicative of the true spread of the virus in Summit County due to a nationwide shortage of test kits.

In a news release, Summit County Public Health Director Amy Wineland said the test results underrepresent the spread of the virus in Summit County and that officials are certain there are more people who have contracted the virus than have been tested. 

Testing is being prioritized for first responders, health care providers and severely ill patients, according to the county’s post.

“Prioritizing testing for our first responders and health care workers who become ill allows them to return to work as soon as they recover if they receive a negative COVID-19 result,” the post said.

Testing severely ill patients allows health care workers to determine the best course of action for the patients’ treatment based on results. Those who are hospitalized with severe respiratory illnesses are being tested and treated as if they have the virus while the hospital awaits test results, according to a post on the Summit County Emergency Blog

A post on the emergency blog Friday responded to questions about why testing isn’t being conducted on a larger scale. 

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“We have limited testing kits, so we’re only able to test those in our highest-risk categories, local health care workers and first responders,” Wineland said in the post. “That’s why we can’t test more and show we have more widespread illness. But we know that it’s here.”

The post explained that health officials are aware that the virus is being transmitted person to person within Summit County, so the confirmation of suspected cases is relatively insignificant. Regardless of whether a test has been conducted or confirmed positive for an individual who is displaying symptoms, officials say treatment should include rest, fluids, over-the-counter fever-reducing medications and self-isolation.

Patients whose symptoms worsen should call their health care provider. 

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