Mike Coffman Election Night 9.jpg

Former U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, then a candidate for Aurora mayor, visits with supporters as early returns showed him in the lead at an election night watch party on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019, at BJ’s Brewhouse & Restaurant in Aurora.

COVID-19 reached into the higher reaches of Colorado Politics with the news Sunday that Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman has contracted the illness.

Coffman broke the news on Twitter, saying he wasn't feeling well after work Thursday and had a mild cough. He thought it was a cold.

He was checked out at an Urgent Care Clinic on Sunday and a rapid test came back positive.

"Unfortunately, the results of the test were positive. I will have to quarantine at home," Coffman tweeted at lunchtime.

He cleared his schedule and plans to quarantine at home.

City spokeswoman Kim Stuart issued a statement Sunday that said "Mayor Coffman said he is feeling better and is currently experiencing mild symptoms while he quarantines at home. He appreciates the many well wishes that have been expressed and hopes for a speedy recovery."

Coffman, 65, was elected mayor last year after losing his seat in Congress to Jason Crow after five terms. Coffman also has served as Colorado's secretary of state, state treasurer and was a state senator.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis is quarantining himself after they appeared with other officials at a press conference, a spokesperson for the governor said Sunday.

In a statement, spokesperson Maria De Cambra said Polis would quarantine while waiting to hear from health officials investigating who else may have been exposed to the coronavirus about whether he should continue to isolate himself.

“He will be under quarantine until the health investigation is completed and he is informed. This is just another reminder of the need to cooperate with contact tracers, quarantine when needed, wear masks, social distance, and if you have any symptoms get tested,” she said.

Coffman and Polis attended an outdoor press conference on Oct. 15 to promote Colorado's mail ballot system, which Coffman helped administer as secretary of state during the 2008 presidential election.

Polis' partner, Marlon Reis, current Secretary of State Jena Griswold, Denver Clerk Paul Lopez and state Sen. Julie Gonzales also spoke at the event. They stood staggered on a sidewalk near a ballot drop off box and each wore a mask until taking their turn to speak at the microphone.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises anyone who has been in close contact with a COVID-19 patient to quarantine for two weeks. The risk of spread is considered lower outdoors.

Coffman's diagnosis came on the same day as Colorado launched a statewide COVID-19 exposure notification system, in partnership with Google and Apple, that allows people to get smartphone notifications if someone they were near has tested positive for the virus. Users have to sign up to get notifications and users' locations and identities will not be tracked, an announcement from Polis' office said.

Citing a steady increase in Colorado’s coronavirus hospitalizations, state health officials announced new limits Friday on personal gatherings of people from different households in more than two dozen counties. The state is at risk of exceeding the peak in hospitalizations seen in April by mid-November, according to a modeling report released the same day by the state health department and the Colorado School of Public Health.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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