General questions and answers

What you need to know about Colorado’s COVID-19 data dashboard:

Colorado’s dashboard displays preliminary case and fatality information. This data is reported into Colorado’s Electronic Disease Reporting System (CEDRS) by a variety of agencies that are the original source of collecting the data:

  • Private labs
  • Public labs
  • Hospital infection prevention specialists
  • State and local public health officials. 
How up-to-date is this data?

The data in the dashboard is updated daily at 4 p.m. and reflects all cases reported as of the previous day and information present for those cases as of 2 p.m. the day it is published. This reporting gap gives our epidemiologists time to review the data and improve its accuracy. 

Please note that the data is only as up-to-date as what has been reported to the state. You may notice lags in data or spikes in numbers as labs, hospitals, facilities and local agencies enter their data into the CEDRS system.

Why do the numbers change/differ from my local health department?

Information on this dashboard may change as new or different information is discovered through case investigations performed at the local level. Labs, hospitals, and state and local public health agencies enter initial data into CEDRS. Then, local health agency epidemiologists investigate the cases to gather more information. As they gather more information about a case, they update the data reported to their local public health agencies and to the state via CEDRS. Therefore, numbers and information provided by local agencies may be more up-to-date than this statewide dashboard.

How is it determined which county a case belongs in?
  • Cases and deaths are attributed to the county of residence of each individual.
What’s the difference between confirmed and probable cases?

The total number of cases includes both confirmed and probable cases.  

  • Cases are considered confirmed when there has been a positive molecular amplification test (such as PCR) performed by a lab. These tests commonly involve taking a nasal swab which is then sent to specific laboratories for results. 
  • A molecular amplification test detects genetic material from the virus indicating presence of the virus.
  • Cases are considered probable when they meet one of the following criteria: 
    • A person exhibited symptoms AND had close contact with someone who tested positive
      • OR
    • A person exhibited symptoms AND tested positive using an antigen or serologic test. 
      • An antigen or serologic test is a blood test that looks for antibodies in your blood. This test can detect the body’s immune response to the infection caused by the virus rather than detecting the virus itself. 
      • OR
    • A person has an epidemiologic link* AND has tested positive using an antigen or serologic test
      • *An epidemiologically-link is close contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 disease OR travel to or residence in an area with sustained, ongoing community transmission OR a member of a risk cohort as defined by public health authorities during an outbreak.
      • OR
    • A death certificate lists COVID-19 disease or SARS-CoV-2 as a cause of death or a significant condition contributing to death with no confirmatory laboratory testing performed for COVID-19.
Race/ethnicity data
  • Data presented on this dashboard represents about 75% of all reported COVID-19 cases. Cases with an unknown race or ethnicity are excluded from these calculations, so it does not provide an accurate view of statewide trends. 
  • The state is working with hospitals and medical providers that interact directly with patients in order to encourage them to collect and report this data. 
  • As an important note, race and ethnicity can be challenging data to collect and report accurately if a medical provider does not ask the individual to report the data, the provider is relying on perceived race/ethnicity, which can be inaccurate. 
Recovery and Hospital Data
  • With more than 5.7 million residents in Colorado, and thousands of reported cases and hospitalizations, CDPHE does not have the capacity to maintain individual contact with each person who may have had COVID-19 across the state. Instead, we rely on a broad network of individual health care providers and hospitals to report the data that shows up on our dashboard. 
  • The Colorado Hospital Association has started reporting discharge data, this helps to provide a snapshot of people who have recovered from the most severe illnesses related to COVID-19. 
  • All hospital data is collected and maintained by the individual hospitals, and is shared in aggregate form by the state of Colorado in partnership with the Colorado Hospital Association. Our data-sharing agreement with the hospitals does not permit the state to release facility-level data. For that information, contact the individual hospital that maintains that data. For questions and more information about hospital data, please contact the Colorado Hospital Association.
What is the definition of a COVID-19 death?

When reporting deaths, we follow a standardized case definition of COVID-19 as set by the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists. This includes both confirmed and probable case deaths:

  • A death is classified as a confirmed case if the decedent had a positive COVID-19 lab test.
  • A death is classified as a probable case if the decedent meets probable case definition or the death certificate lists “COVID-19” or an equivalent as a cause of death but does not have a positive lab test. 
How are deaths associated with COVID-19 reported?

The state provides death data related to COVID-19 in two ways: 

  • Deaths due to COVID-19:
    • The CDC vital records death data is based on CDC coding of death certificates, and it reflects the number of deaths due to COVID-19, based on the expert judgment of health care providers and coroners. 
      • The number comes from death certificates where COVID-19 is listed as the cause of death or a significant condition contributing to death.
  • Deaths among people with COVID-19:
    • The CDPHE epidemiological death data reflects people who died who also had COVID-19. It comes from two sources:
      • From health care providers and laboratories that report cases to the state using a national case definition.
      • From state-reviewed death certificates where COVID-19 is listed as the cause of death or a significant condition contributing to death. These death certificates may not have yet been coded by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.
    • Public health systems across the country use epidemiological death data to rapidly classify and count cases and deaths consistently.
    • The national standardized case definition for counting COVID-19 deaths for epidemiological purposes is set by the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists and approved by the CDC. This includes both confirmed and probable case deaths:
      • A death is classified as a confirmed case if the decedent had a positive COVID-19 lab test.
      • A death is classified as a probable case if the decedent meets probable case definition or the death certificate lists “COVID-19” or an equivalent as a cause of death but does not have a positive lab test. 


More information about CDC’s COVID-19 Death Data and Resources.

Important things to know about these two datasets

  • The numbers of deaths due to COVID-19 and deaths among people with COVID-19 should not be added together to determine a total death count. They are separate numbers.
  • The numbers of deaths due to COVID-19 and deaths among people with COVID-19 are reported from two different systems that are updated on different timelines. These numbers cannot be compared day-to-day to determine how many deaths have occurred in each category.
  • The number of deaths due to COVID-19 are not necessarily included in the number of deaths among people with COVID-19. After review, at either the state or national level, some deaths may not be counted as COVID-19 deaths. This is rare, and the expectation is in the end, the numbers will closely align. 
  • The deaths due to COVID-19 are provisional counts and often track several weeks behind other data. The number reported indicates the number of deaths from records that have been analyzed as of the date indicated. However, due to the one- to eight-week timeframe it can take to completely process death records, counts from previous weeks are continually revised as more records are received and processed. 

Why should I report my data?

Your data will help CDPHE track COVID-19 symptoms among people who may not be able to or need to get tested for the virus. This could help public health experts and policymakers map and identify potential hotspots not captured by testing. 

And by filling out the symptom tracker, the system can connect you with resources that can help with any physical or behavioral health symptoms you may experience during this time.

Why are you asking for my personal health information?

Collecting contact information along with your reported symptoms will allow the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to provide follow-up support in the form of text messages to point people toward the right resources to help them manage their symptoms, understand testing recommendations, access telehealth services, and get help for other needs. Additionally, by providing your location, CDPHE will be able to map symptom reports across the state. 

How are you protecting my data?

We care about your privacy. CDPHE is responsible for protecting the health information of Colorado residents. We collect specific personal health information from individuals in the community and put that information together to measure the public's overall health and well-being. Your information will be protected and analyzed only by CDPHE, their authorized users (such as the Colorado School of Public Health, which uses data to model disease outbreaks), and your local public health agency.

With whom will you share my data?

Your data will be shared only with those with authorized access, such as your local public health agency. This will help public health and public safety agencies track COVID-19 symptoms in order to make appropriate public health decisions. Additionally, in some cases, public health officials may choose to follow up with certain individuals.  

How will you report any data collected through the symptom tracker?

Any COVID-19 data publicly reported will be anonymized and reported in aggregate. That means your name and any other information that would make you identifiable will not be publicly disclosed. Any identifying COVID-19 data you report will only be potentially shared with local public health and public safety agencies to aid in their response. 

Is my patient identification and information properly protected as mandated by HIPAA?

In short, absolutely. Your information is protected by state, federal, and all applicable laws. Your information is securely stored on a HIPAA compliant server and the database is encrypted during transit and at rest. Be assured that we have taken every precaution to protect your information.

Should I fill out the symptom tracker to get tested for COVID-19 or as a replacement for an epidemiological investigation?

At this time, the symptom tracker does not refer users to testing or allow them to register to receive a test for COVID-19. If you believe you may need to be tested, consult your healthcare provider. 

The symptom tracker is also not a replacement for follow-up interviews or surveys conducted by epidemiologists to trace those exposed to COVID-19. The primary purpose of the symptom tracker at this time is to track potential outbreaks by understanding locations where people may be experiencing increases in symptoms associated with COVID-19. 

How many cases of COVID-19 have there been in Colorado? ... in the U.S.? ... in the world? How many people have died?
Can we get more details about specific cases in Colorado?
How many COVID-19 cases is Colorado expecting?
  • We anticipate an increase in positive tests for the foreseeable future. At this point, public health is working to “flatten the curve.” That means slowing the spread of disease so we can build up our health care system. We need to do this so hospitals will still be able to treat the sickest people.

Who can get tested for COVID-19 in Colorado?
Where can I find a physician? What if I can't find one that offers testing?
  • Health care providers themselves don't do the tests for COVID-19; they are done at medical laboratories. A health care provider or nurseline can help you by discussing with you whether you need to be tested and giving information about where to go to get tested. Remember to always contact a health care provider first before just going to an office, clinic or emergency room. Work with your health insurer to find a provider. If you don’t have insurance, visit the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing website.

Will I have to pay to be tested for COVID-19?
Where do I find out my test results for COVID-19?
  • For the state lab testing center:
    • Individuals will be contacted directly with their results as soon as possible. Do not call the state lab, the state health department, or a local public health agency to get your results.
  • The person who requested the test for you will receive the results. If your health care provider requested the test, that provider will receive your results and communicate those results to you.
Do I need to report my positive or negative COVID-19 test results to state or local public health?
  • No. COVID-19 is an immediately reportable condition in Colorado. That means that the lab that processed your test or the health care provider who ordered it must report the results to public health.

 Can a person test negative and later test positive for COVID-19?
  • Using a PCR diagnostic test, a negative result means that the virus that causes COVID-19 was not found in the person’s sample. This can happen when a person is tested too early in their incubation period and there isn’t enough viral material for the test to detect.
  • False-negative PCR results can also occur if a sample was collected improperly or not handled or stored at proper temperatures.
  • For COVID-19, a negative PCR test result for a sample collected while a person has symptoms likely means that the COVID-19 virus is not causing their current illness.
What does it mean when a result is “presumptive positive”? 
  • Positive test results from the state lab are considered presumptive positive. Previously, confirmatory testing was performed at CDC. That is no longer the case. All positive test results are considered confirmed cases 


    I have been diagnosed with or am showing symptoms of  COVID-19 – what should I do?
    • If you tested positive for COVID-19 using a PCR test or if you develop symptoms, you should stay away from others and follow the instructions on how to isolate
    • If you need medical advice, call a health care provider or nurse line. It is important to CALL ahead BEFORE going to see a health care provider, urgent care, or emergency room in order to limit the spread of COVID-19. Tell them your symptoms and where or how you might have been exposed.
      • If you are having a medical emergency, call 911. Tell the dispatcher your symptoms.
    What happens if I am diagnosed with COVID-19?
    • If you have a positive test result for COVID-19, public health may contact you to collect information about your exposures and give you more information about preventing transmission to others. You may get a call from public health before you have been called with test results.

    I think I have been exposed to COVID-19, but I’m not showing symptoms - what should I do?
    • If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 but you don’t have symptoms you should follow the instructions on how to quarantine for 14 days after exposure. You may also want to consider getting tested, but wait at least seven days after the date you think you were exposed to get tested using a PCR test.
      • Testing with PCR immediately after exposure isn’t helpful because it may be too early in the incubation period and there isn’t enough viral material for the test to detect.
      • While it’s a good idea to wait at about seven days to be tested after the date of exposure if you don’t have symptoms, some people may not become ill for up to 14 days. For that reason, people who have been exposed to COVID-19 should minimize their contact with others for 14 days from the date of their exposure, even if they test negative before the full two weeks have passed.
    I am worried that people in stores, restaurants, and other public places might give me COVID-19.
    • Currently, restaurants, bars, and similar places must follow this guidance.
    • Passing someone briefly in a store or hallway is a low risk for transmission of COVID-19.
    • Generally, you need to be within 6 feet of a sick person with COVID-19 to risk being exposed.
    • Please stay home as much as possible 
    • Wear a mask or cloth face covering when running essential errands like going to the grocery store or pharmacy.


    What is a coronavirus, and what is COVID-19?
    • Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Not all coronaviruses are COVID-19.
    • A novel (or new) coronavirus is a strain of virus that has not been previously identified in humans.
    • Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people and then spread between people, such as has been seen with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). These viruses have caused outbreaks internationally and have been known to cause severe illness. Scientists think this is what happened with COVID-19
    • COVID-19 now is spreading from person to person in many countries and states, including Colorado.
    How is COVID-19 spread?
    • COVID-19 spreads from person to person and is thought to occur mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory viruses spread.
    • It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
    What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
    • Symptoms, especially early on, may be mild and feel like a common cold. Early symptoms could include a combination of cough, body aches, fatigue and chest tightness. Some people may not develop fever, or fever may not appear until several days into the illness. People who have these symptoms should self-isolate.
    • More advanced symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. These people also should self-isolate and contact a medical provider as necessary. 
    • In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and death. 
    How long do COVID-19 symptoms last?
    • It depends on severity of illness.
    How long does it take to start showing symptoms after being exposed to COVID-19?
    • 2-14 days.

    How serious is COVID-19?
    • Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death.
    • According to the World Health Organization, about 80% of COVID-19 cases are mild.
    • Higher risk groups include
      • People who are 65 and older.
      • People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma.
      • People who have serious heart conditions.
      • People who have weakened immune systems.
      • Pregnant people.
      • People determined to be at high risk by a licensed health care provider.
      • However, anyone can experience severe illness from this disease. 
    Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?
    • There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19.

    How is COVID-19 treated?
    • There is no specific treatment for COVID-19. However, many of the symptoms can be treated, and therefore treatment is based on the patient’s clinical condition. Many people will be able to recover on their own.
    • Scientists are reporting progress with clinical trials of an antiviral medication called remdesivir, but trials are still in progress to find out whether this is a suitable and effective treatment.
    Who is at risk for COVID-19?
    • At this time, it is safe to assume that everyone is at risk of getting COVID-19. That is why it is so important to keep up with and follow public health orders, found on our Safer-at-Home page.
    Can food and drinking water be contaminated with COVID-19?
    • Generally speaking, food is not contaminated with coronaviruses, and cooking would kill any virus in the food.
    • According to the American Water Works Association and the Water Environment Federation, normal chlorination treatment should be sufficient to kill COVID-19 in drinking water systems. This is based on studies of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.
    Does COVID-19 stay in the air?
    • In general, coronaviruses do not stay in the air like measles (which can live up to two hours in the air.) However, there is still a lot to learn about COVID-19 and we can’t be sure that this virus doesn’t stay in the air. We are taking a cautious approach to prevent spread.

    Can packages or products shipped from other places be contaminated with COVID-19?
    • There is likely a very low risk of spreading the virus from products or packages that are shipped over days and weeks. Coronaviruses are generally spread through respiratory droplets and don’t survive well on surfaces. There is no evidence that COVID-19 is transmitted through imported goods or shipped packages. 
    Does COVID-19 live in swimming pools?
    • CDPHE’s Water Quality Control Division says that in general, it appears that normal swimming pool disinfection techniques are effective against COVID-19. 

    What is a close contact?
    • For COVID-19, close contact includes:
      • Living in the same household as a sick person with COVID-19.
      • Caring for a sick person with COVID-19.
      • Being within 6 feet of a sick person with COVID-19, although just passing by a person for a few seconds should not cause you to be overly concerned.
      • Being in direct contact with fluids from a sick person with COVID-19. This includes being coughed on, kissing, sharing utensils, etc.
    I keep hearing about “community spread;” what does that mean?
    • Community spread (or transmission) means there are cases and outbreaks in many communities where people are spreading the virus to other people. Public health is unlikely to be able to identify the source of exposure. 

    Can a person with COVID-19 spread the disease without having symptoms?
    • The majority of spread is through symptomatic cases, but it does appear presymptomatic/asymptomatic spread may be occurring. For that reason, it is critical for people to follow public health orders and social/physical distancing rules and wear cloth face coverings.
    Are people of non-U.S. descent at higher risk for getting or spreading COVID-19?
    • No. Like any other virus, no identity, community, ethnic, or racial group is more at risk for getting or spreading COVID-19. 
    Why is the disease called coronavirus disease 2019, COVID-19?
    • The name of this disease is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. In COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV.”

    How did this outbreak begin? 
    • On December 31, 2019, Chinese health officials alerted the World Health Organization of several cases of pneumonia in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. The pneumonia was caused by a virus that did not match any other known virus.

    Has the cause of COVID-19 been identified?
    • Early on, many of the patients in the outbreak in Wuhan, China reportedly had some link to a large seafood and animal market, suggesting initial animal-to-person spread. Now, person-to-person spread is occurring.
    Is this disease worse than MERS or SARS?
    • Both MERS and SARS have been known to cause severe illness in people. 
    • Since COVID-19 is a new disease and there is more to learn about the virus, the current understanding about how it spreads is largely based on what is known about similar respiratory illnesses. 
    • Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.
    Where can I get the most up to date information about this event?

    What can I do to protect myself/my family from getting COVID-19?
    • Coloradans should take preventive actions, stay informed, and practice social distancing.
    Preventive actions
    • Frequently and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
    • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, or use your inner elbow or sleeve.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
    • Stay home and self-isolate if you’re sick, and keep your children home if they are sick.
    • Daily, clean surfaces in your home, and personal items such as cell phones, using regular household products.
    • To protect others, wear a non-medical mask when outside your home and yard.
    Stay informed
    • For general questions, contact CO HELP, Colorado's COVID-19 hotline:
      • Call 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911for answers in many languages including English, Spanish (Español), Mandarin (普通话), and more.
    • State public health web page
    • Facebook and Twitter (@CDPHE)
    • CDC COVID-19 web page
    Practice social and physical distancing
    • Keep 6 feet between yourself and other people (people who don’t live in the same household as you whenever possible. No hugs, no handshakes.
    • Work from home if you can.
    • Keep children and teens from gathering.
    • Stay home.
    • Avoid group gatherings. The smallest group in the largest space poses the least risk. Currently, are strongly advised to stay at home as much as possible. Group gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited. People at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 are required to stay home as much as possible.

    • We know many people who are going to give birth over the next few months may have concerns about what COVID-19 means for them. If you have questions or concerns, it’s important for you to talk with your health care provider and the hospital or birthing center you have chosen for the birth. Different facilities have different policies based on their current situation. 
    • There have been efforts nationally to limit the number of people in all health care settings to protect our healthcare providers. Talk to your facility about their policies related to the number of support persons who can be present during birth. 
    • The World Health Organization has a good FAQ on pregnancy and breastfeeding that addresses concerns about people who are pregnant and may have COVID-19.
    • You also will want to talk to your providers, as they know the most about you and can provide the best guidance about giving birth and breastfeeding during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • In Colorado, under Safer-at-Home, pregnant people are required to stay home as much as possible.

    Do I need to wear a face mask or gloves in the community to prevent COVID-19? 
    • Colorado is asking everyone to wear a non-medical cloth face covering while out in public. You can make or buy a covering that will cover your mouth and nose and use it whenever you are outside your house and yard.

    • Executive Order D 2020 039 orders workers at critical businesses to wear non-medical face coverings while at work and wear gloves (if gloves are provided by an employer).

    When do I need to wear a mask or gloves?
    • Wear your non-medical, cloth face covering whenever you go out in public to get groceries or medications or to do other essential activities. Use it when going for a walk or out to exercise, if you are away from your own yard.

    • If you work at a critical business, you need to wear a medical or non-medical cloth face covering that covers your nose and mouth while working, except where doing so would inhibit your health. To the extent possible, wear gloves when in contact with customers or goods if gloves are provided to workers by their employer.

    Why are we being asked to wear masks?
    • The main reason to wear a non-medical mask is to protect others. Science is telling us that some people may spread COVID-19 when they do not have symptoms. People may spread the disease when speaking, coughing or sneezing -- especially in situations where a physical distance of 6 feet cannot be maintained.

    Shouldn’t we be wearing disposable or surgical masks?
    • No. We must keep medical masks for health care providers and first responders who are exposed to heavy amounts of the virus when caring for sick people. Cloth face coverings can help the rest of us help them by potentially limiting the spread of the virus.

    Where do I get a mask?
    • You can make or buy your own. You can use a bandana or scarf. has resources. The CDC has a video on making your own mask, or Google CDC cloth masks.

    How should a mask fit?
    • Cloth face coverings should—
      • fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
      • be secured with ties or ear loops
      • include multiple layers of fabric
      • allow for breathing without restriction
      • be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape
    How do I clean and sterilize my mask?
    • Wash your mask regularly with your regular laundry.
    How do take off the mask?
    • Be careful to not touch your eyes, nose or mouth when removing your face covering, and wash your hands right after you remove it.

    Where can I find out more?

    What is social distancing?
    • Social distancing methods are ways to increase physical distance between people in schools and workplaces, at community events, and at other places people gather. Examples include:
      • No hugs, no handshakes.
      • Increasing the physical distance between people to at least 6 feet to help reduce spread.
      • Reducing the number of large group gatherings or activities. The smallest group in the largest space is the safest. 
      • Staying home.
    Why are we social distancing?
    • The reason we need to stay home and not socialize is because we are trying to slow disease spread enough to build up our health care system. That means getting enough beds and equipment in place so that hospitals can treat the sickest COVID-19 patients and continue to treat everyone else who has life-threatening conditions. If we don’t do this, many more people will die.

    Should I cancel my trip because of COVID-19?
    • Currently, under Public Health Order 20-28, Coloradans should not travel for non-essential reasons.
    • Coloradans should limit their travel to places in their immediate communities.
    • Coloradans should not go to their second homes or take trips to resort or mountain communities.
    • For recreation purposes, Coloradans should stay within 10 miles of home.
    What if I was on the same flight as someone who was later diagnosed with COVID-19?
    • The CDC is working with state health departments to notify anyone who may have been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19 on a flight. If you are at risk, your local or state public health agency will contact you. 

    Can I visit my loved one in a nursing home, assisted living or other kind of facility?
    • Currently, only essential visitors can visit these places. This is typically limited to end-of-life situations.
    • Before attempting to visit your loved ones, reach out to the care facility to find out what its policy is.
    • The facility should have staff members available to answer your questions and be able to communicate with you on when it is safe to resume visits. 
    • If you are allowed to visit, there may be some extra steps you need to take before going in.
    • If you are not allowed to visit, the facility should have other ways for you to communicate with your loved ones.
    • These policies, while hard, were put in place to protect your loved ones from COVID-19.
    What are nursing homes and other care facilities doing if someone in the facility has COVID-19?

    Where can I donate convalescent plasma?
    • The Children’s Colorado Blood Donor Center is currently collecting convalescent plasma donations to help combat COVID-19.
      • Convalescent plasma is plasma donated by people who have fully recovered from COVID-19 infection
      • This plasma contains antibodies that might be helpful in treating patients hospitalized with COVID-19 infections.
      • In order to be eligible to donate, the donor must have had a confirmed positive COVID-19 test and be symptom free for 14 days. They also must qualify for all of the regulatory requirements for a blood donation. 
      • Donors must be at least 17 years old.
      •  For those interested in donation, the center has a phone line: (720) 777-3557 and email: for more information.             
    • Vitalant Blood Donation Centers and the Red Cross have also started collecting convalescent plasma:
    • More information

    Can I give my household pets COVID-19? Can they give it to me or other animals?
    • Yes. While rare, there have been some animals that have gotten COVID-19 from their owners or caregivers.
    • At this time there is no evidence to suggest that any animals, including pets or livestock, can spread COVID-19 to people.
    What should I do about my pets if I am sick?
    • Further studies are needed to understand if and how different animals could be affected by COVID-19. This is why it's very important to protect your pets by limiting contact if you are sick with either suspected or confirmed COVID-19. 
    • When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick.
    • Avoid contact with your pet including, petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked,sharing food, and sleeping with your pet.
    • ​​​​​​​If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with them.
    What if my pet becomes sick?
    • ​​​​​​​As the number of people with COVID-19 in the U.S. increases, it is possible that we may see additional pets develop illness. If your pet does develop mild respiratory symptoms, isolate them alone in a room with their bed, food and water, and other necessities.
    • Call your veterinarian to let them know that your pet has symptoms and that you are isolating them at home.
    • If your pet’s symptoms worsen, contact your veterinarian. Let them know that your pet needs to be evaluated.
    What should I do when taking my pet out?
    • ​​​​​​​Do not let pets interact with people or animals outside the household. If a person inside the household becomes sick, isolate that person from everyone else, including pets.
    • Keep cats indoors as much as possible to keep them from interacting with other animals or people.
    • Walk dogs on a leash, maintaining at least 6 feet from pther people and animals.
    • Avoid dog parks or public places where large numbers of people and dogs gather.
    Should my pet be tested?
    • Routine testing of animals is not recommended at this time. Testing of symptomatic animals for COVID-19 will be limited, and a joint decision between the state veterinarian and the state public health veterinarian in consultation with the National Veterinary Services Laboratory will need to be made. It's critical to conserve testing resources for people.

    Do I need a doctor's note or negative test clearing me to return to work after I was sick?

    The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment does not have, and cannot provide, you with a letter clearing you to go back to work. If you had symptoms consistent with COVID-19, you should isolate yourself for 10 days after symptoms started, and continue isolating yourself until you are fever-free (without the use of fever-reducing medications) for 3 days. Public health is not requiring people to have a negative test to return to work. If your employer is requiring this, you may want to contact your doctor, or another health care provider, or direct your employer to this website.

    My workplace is asking for documentation that proves I was told to quarantine. Who do I get this from?
    • It depends on who advised you to quarantine. If public health instructed you to quarantine, get documentation from that specific public health agency (such as Tri-County, Denver Public Health, etc.). If a health care provider instructed you to quarantine, contact that provider to get the documentation.

    How Do I File For Unemployment/Does My Business Qualify For Unemployment?
    • As we are a separate entity from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, we cannot offer assistance on filing for unemployment. We recommend consulting the CDLE site for questions about unemployment or calling them at (303) 318-8000. 

    Where can I find information on government-issued loans for my business? Other financial assistance (non-unemployment)?
    How do I report a business that is not in compliance with a state health order?
    • If you suspect that someone is violating an order you should contact your local public health department.

    Should my community gathering be canceled?
    • Gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited.
    Should my child’s school be closed?
    • Schools are closed for in-person learning for the remainder of the school year. 
    What does the governor’s state of emergency declaration mean?
    • On March 10, 2020 Governor Jared Polis declared a state of emergency. The state of emergency gives the state access to resources and more legal flexibility to take steps to control the spread of the virus. Keep up to date on the state's response to COVID-19.

    What is an antibody test?

    • Antibody tests, antibody blood tests, and serologic tests refer to the same thing. It is a test to check your blood to look for antibodies, which are proteins that help fight off infections. Antibody tests can show if you had a previous infection with a virus. 

    Do you recommend antibody testing? Why not?

    • According to the CDC, the test may not find antibodies in someone with a current COVID-19 infection. It depends on when someone was infected and the timing of the test.

    • Antibody tests cannot be used as the only way to diagnose someone as currently being sick with COVID-19.

    • We don’t yet know if a positive antibody test means you are immune to COVID-19.

    • Antibody tests may react with other seasonal viruses and result in false positive results. 

    What do the results of a COVID-19 antibody test mean?

    • If you get an antibody test, and it is positive, that means you have antibodies that likely resulted from a COVID-19 infection or possibly a related coronavirus infection.

    • If you get an antibody test, and it is negative, you probably have not been previously infected with COVID-19. You still could have a current infection and still could get sick, or spread the virus to others, if recently exposed. Antibodies don’t show up for 1 to 3 weeks after infection. Some people may take even longer to develop antibodies, and some people may not develop them at all.

    Who should get an antibody test?

    • If you have symptoms, you would need a viral or swab test to confirm whether you have COVID-19. An antibody test alone cannot tell.

    • If you have no symptoms, you likely do not have an active infection and no testing is needed.

    • Currently, these tests should only be used for research purposes. 

    Where can I get an antibody test?

    • Antibody tests are slowly becoming available through healthcare providers. Many companies are distributing rapid antibody tests, and some are being marketed as rapid, point-of-care tests. Currently these tests have not been evaluated or approved for this kind of use, and we do not recommend them.