A Telluride couple is paying for their entire county’s coronavirus tests. They hope the results will stop the disease everywhere. | VailDaily.com
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A Telluride couple is paying for their entire county’s coronavirus tests. They hope the results will stop the disease everywhere.

Jesse Paul, Colorado Sun
Skier Nick Kenworthy plunders powder at Telluride ski area. (Brett Schreckengost, special to The Colorado Sun)

San Miguel County in southwest Colorado has no confirmed cases of the new coronavirus. But already it has sent a handful of people with severe respiratory ailments to hospitals where they’re receiving critical care for suspected infections. 

In response and as a precaution, the county has taken some of the state’s most drastic measures to try to limit the spread of the disease. On Wednesday, the San Miguel County public health department ordered its roughly 8,000 residents to shelter in place until at least April 3.

The problem is the county, which includes the ritzy resort town of Telluride, has had little to no testing for COVID-19,  the disease caused by the coronavirus. Final results from the screening that has been done on just 38 people aren’t yet available, so health officials are essentially flying blind. 

“We are presuming we have disease,” county spokesman Susan Lilly said. “We just don’t know how widespread it is.” 

But two part-time Telluride residents have stepped in to try to solve the testing problem. They’re paying for everyone in the town of about 2,500 — whether they are symptomatic or not —  and county to be screened twice in the coming two weeks for coronavirus using a new blood test that’s received preliminary OK from the Food and Drug Administration. 

Read more via The Colorado Sun.

The Colorado Sun is a reader-supported news organization dedicated to covering the people, places and policies that matter in Colorado. Read more, sign up for free newsletters and subscribe at coloradosun.com.


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