EDDY COUNTY, New Mexico (KFDA) - The New Mexico Department of Health announced the state’s first death related to the coronavirus.
On March 22, a man in his 70s went to the Artesia General Hospital where his condition rapidly deteriorated and later died that same day.
A COVID-19 test was performed locally and was sent to the state laboratory.
The lab received the test on Tuesday and confirmed it was positive for the virus.
Officials said the man had multiple chronic underlying health issues.
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is urging citizens to stay home during this public health crisis.
“In light of this news, I want to further emphasize: As we test more people in the state, we will see the number of infections rise," she said. "As we see the number of infections rise, we are likely to see more death. This is why it is absolutely imperative that New Mexicans remain home except for only those most essential or emergent outings. Social distancing and isolation is the best tool we have right now for mitigating the spread of this virus and avoiding capacity issues within our state’s health care system. All of us must undertake these steps in order to save more lives and prevent more deaths.”
Grisham issued a stay-at-home order on March 23.