Summit County awaits autopsy for Silverthorne man who tested positive for COVID-19 post-mortem |

Summit County awaits autopsy for Silverthorne man who tested positive for COVID-19 post-mortem

SILVERTHORNE — Summit County reported the death of a Silverthorne man on Saturday, April 11, who tested positive for COVID-19 post-mortem. The man was in his 60s and died in his home, where the Summit County Coroner’s Office responded to a call from a family member on Thursday, April 9, and tested the man for the new coronavirus. The test was returned positive on Saturday. While the man tested positive for COVID-19, an autopsy is being performed to determine the specific cause or causes of death. 

“We suspect that he had other underlying health conditions and we, … with this particular case, don’t have a good sense of what the cause was or whether it was multiple factors so the autopsy will help determine that,” Summit County spokeswoman Julie Sutor said. 

Sutor said the autopsy will be conducted early this week but the report may not be complete for two to four weeks. Since the autopsy report will take some time, Sutor said the county chose to announce the death now because of the possibility of COVID-19 as a factor in the death, although it is not customary for the county to announce a death that takes place in the community.

COVID-19 is thought to be related to the death of the man but Sutor said the county is pursuing an autopsy because he had not sought medical care prior to passing.  

“We don’t have medical records that would help the Coroner’s Office determine the cause of death, so that’s one of the things that makes it unclear,” Sutor said. 

The Coroner’s Office is currently testing recently deceased individuals for COVID-19 if there is “any question” about the cause of death, according to Sutor. The Coroner’s Office has conducted other post-mortem COVID-19 tests, but until Saturday all had come back negative.

The individual who died was reported to only have had contact with certain family members, all of whom are currently asymptomatic and under a 14-day quarantine. Sutor said the county is providing support for these family members.

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