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A worker at a coronavirus drive-up testing site in Montrose. (Handout)

The new coronavirus has now been linked to at least nine deaths in Colorado as the outbreak of the disease rapidly worsens.

A Teller County man in his 80s was killed by COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, health officials announced on Monday night. And recent tests showed a Gunnison County man in his 50s who died earlier this month also had contracted coronavirus.

“The individual was tested for COVID-19 by the coroner’s office after his passing a week and a half ago,” Gunnison County Health and Human Services in a news release Monday. “Health and Human Services just received notice that the test did in fact come back positive.”

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Colorado is now well over 700 across 31 of Colorado’s 64 counties. At least 72 people have been hospitalized.

About 6,200 people have been tested for the virus.

Colorado health officials say there are likely thousands of people in the state who are infected with the virus but that they haven’t been tested because of a lack of resources.

Updated at 5:03 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24, 2020: This story has been updated to correct inaccurate information from El Paso County Public Health. An man in his 80s who died was from Teller County.

Jesse Paul is a Denver-based political reporter and editor at The Colorado Sun, covering the state legislature, Congress and local politics. He is the author of The Unaffiliated newsletter and also occasionally fills in on breaking news coverage....