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Colorado coronavirus latest March 29: TSA agent at DIA tests positive for COVID-19

COVID-19, the disease caused by a the new form of coronavirus, is in Colorado. We'll post updates here as we get them.

COLORADO, USA — Cases of COVID-19, a disease caused by a new strain of coronavirus, began popping up in the United States in January. On March 5, the first case was announced in Colorado.

Each day, we will post a new blog that will track the daily changes in Denver and throughout Colorado as we get them.

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Read updates from March 28 here. 

Sunday, March 29

DIA TSA agent tests positive

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reported on its website that a screening officer at Denver International Airport had tested positive for COVID-19, the first case in a TSA employee at that airport. TSA said the employee last worked on March 21, and was on the 4 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. shift at the Level 6 oversize baggage screening checkpoint. A screening officer at Montrose Regional Airport has also tested positive, and last worked on March 16, according to the website.

San Miguel County announces additional testing 

The county is opening testing for all Mountain Village residents from 9 a.m. to  4 p.m. Monday, March 30 at the Telluride Intermediate/High School (717 W. Colorado Ave.). This also includes Ski Ranches and all residents along Highway 145 between Mountain Village and top of Lizard Head. Down Valley, Illium and Lawson Hill residents are to be tested on Monday as well. 

Every resident interested in participating in the free voluntary COVID-19 ELISA blood-draw testing should do the following:

  • Pre-register online for the COVID-19 antibody test at c19SMC.com. If you are unable to register, volunteers will be there to gather your information.
  • For any additional questions, the county has a COVID-19 hotline available at 970-728-3844 or email questions@sanmiguelcountyco.gov.

Colorado announces 3 more deaths, 246 new cases

3 more deaths and 246 new cases of COVID-19 were announced by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) on Sunday.

The latest deaths raises the number of deaths connected with COVID-19 in the state to 47, according to CDPHE's website.

RELATED: Colorado COVID-19 cases: March 29: 2,307 cases, 47 deaths

Campaign raises $20,000 for masks, supplies

Several organizations including the Caring Mom Group, the Denver Chinese School and Youth Creates, along with the Colorado Chinese community, have raised more than $20,000 to buy N95 masks and other PPE supplies for hospitals, according to a press release.

The organizations are using the funds to buy the supplies from China and have donated N95 masks to Rocky Mountain Infectious Disease Specialists, Rocky Mountain Cancer Center and St. Luke's Medical Center. More donations to health providers will happen this week.

The fundraising campaign is continuing. Anyone who wants to contribute can do so at youthcreates.com.

Trader's Joe's employee in Denver tests positive for COVID-19

Trader Joe's announced on Sunday that the store on 750 North Colorado Boulevard and the Wine Store at 790 North Colorado Blvd. in Denver have closed for cleaning and sanitation after a crew member tested positive for COVID-19.

The crew member was last in the store on March 25, and all crew members at the store have been informed and will be paid for scheduled shifts while the store is closed, Trader Joe's said.

About a third of counties in Colorado and U.S. not reporting any cases

1,297 counties have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 out of 3,142 counties nationwide, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. 

That number is about the same in Colorado, where 44 out of 64 counties (68.75%) have reported positive cases, according to the latest numbers of the Colorado Department of Public Health.

Of the counties without positive tests, 85% are in rural areas — from predominantly white communities in Appalachia and the Great Plains to majority Hispanic and Native American stretches of the American Southwest — that generally have less everyday contact between people that can help transmit the virus, the Associated Press(AP)  reports. 

At the same time, the AP counties with zero positive tests for COVID-19 have a higher median age and higher proportion of people older than 60 — the most vulnerable to severe effects of the virus — and far fewer intensive care beds should they fall sick. Median household income is lower too, potentially limiting health care options.

MORE: Counties without coronavirus are mostly rural