Boulder County records 2 deaths, 19 coronavirus cases Tuesday; warns of contact tracing scam | #coronavirus | #scams | #covid19

Boulder County on Tuesday tallied 19 coronavirus cases and two deaths, and officials also warned of a contact tracing scam.

The deaths are the first reported since July 14. Both individuals were in their 70s, and one was a resident of a long-term care facility, said Boulder County Public Health spokeswoman Chana Goussetis. This brings the death toll to 76, and the number of cases on Tuesday sits at 2,105.

To date, 190 have been hospitalized and 811 have recovered, which is nine more than Monday. There are 147 disease investigations in progress — five more than Monday.

The health department on Tuesday warned residents of reports they’ve received of scammers pretending to conduct contact tracing for the virus. Residents have been asked to provide credit card information to purchase a test and have been told they need to get a test within 72 hours, according to a news release from the health department.

“We are disheartened to hear that this health crisis is being used to take advantage of people,” said Carol Helwig, Boulder County Public Health communicable disease program coordinator in the release. “The purpose of contact tracing calls is to understand how COVID-19 is impacting the community and to try to find out how people have been exposed so that we can prevent the spread to others.”

The health department did not have an official count of reported scams, Goussetis said, but they “felt it was important enough to let people know.”

The release explained the health department does not ask for payment, a Social Security number, proof of residency and does not require testing without first discussing the individual’s exposure. Those who have tested positive are contacted by disease investigators and asked who they have been in contact with, the symptoms, if they need support and demographic details.

When contact tracing, health department staff will provide guidance on quarantine and testing, the release stated.

“Being open and honest with our staff is vital to slowing the spread of this virus,” Helwig said in the news release. “We don’t want these fake calls to deter residents from speaking with us. You can ask the caller who they work for. They should always say Boulder County Public Health or the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.”

To report a contact tracing scam, contact the Boulder County District Attorney’s Community Protection Division at 303-441-3700.

Statewide, there have been 51,441 positive or probable cases. There have been 1,875 deaths among the cases, and of those, there have been 1,746 deaths because of the coronavirus. There have been 6,679 people hospitalized. Of Colorado’s roughly 5.7 million population, 597,867 people have been tested for the virus.

Boulder County cases by age

  • 0-9: 50
  • 10-19: 198
  • 20-29: 677
  • 30-39: 260
  • 40-49: 266
  • 50-59: 240
  • 60-69: 162
  • 70-79: 127
  • 80+: 107

Some data may be missing due to ongoing disease investigations and reporting delays, the health department notes.

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