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New Mexico reports 1st coronavirus death as infection toll grows to 112

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ARTESIA, New Mexico (KVIA) -- A man in his late 70's has died in Eddy County, marking New Mexico's first coronavirus death, officials said Wednesday.

That announcement came as 13 additional cases were confirmed, bringing the state's infection toll to 112.

Nearly half of the new cases occurred in Bernalillo County, which is the Albuquerque metro and has been the hardest hit by the virus. None of the new cases were in Dona Ana County.

Of the 112 total positive tests, many have been concentrated in population centers including Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Las Cruces, with infections confirmed in 14 of the state's 33 counties.

According to the New Mexico Department of Health, the man who died went to Artesia General Hospital on Sunday, where his condition deteriorated rapidly. He died earlier this week and later tested positive for the virus.

Officials said the man had multiple chronic underlying health conditions. It was unclear where he was living before his hospitalization and how he was infected.

As of Wednesday, there were nine other individuals who remained hospitalized across the state as a result of the virus.

With confirmed infections climbing, schools are still shut down and a stay-at-home order remains in effect to help slow the person-to-person spread of the virus. The order limits gatherings to five people and closes non-essential businesses.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said the first virus death in the state marked a tragic day and urged residents to take precautions to limit the spread of the disease.

“As we test more people in the state, we will see the number of infections rise. And as we see the number of infections rise, we are likely to see more death,” Lujan Grisham said. “Social distancing and isolation is the best tool we have right now.”

She also issued two new orders Wednesday designed to address the shortage of protection equipment for health care workers.

New Mexico is wrestling with limited supplies of personal protection equipment, as medical centers seek public donations of masks, gloves and robes and conserve what supplies they have.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Health / New Mexico / News

David Gonzalez

Jim Parker

Jim Parker is the Director of Digital Content for ABC-7.

Comments

5 Comments

  1. I live in Las Cruces,NM and am concerned that some in the community are not taking the virus seriously. I’ve seen businesses that are non essential still opened, groups of 5 or more still congregating. Sports stores, calling centers, Fallas, non essential delivery still operating. Delivery of water salt is not essential. I don’t see much a difference in the ‘shelter in place order’. How is NM putting this oderance into place when some are not listening?

    1. China’s mortality rate is 4% (3,287 dead out of 81,285 cases). Italy is 10% (7,503 dead out of 74,386 cases). That’s what Dr. Fauci is partially basing it on. As Trump himself has said Dr. Fauci is the best, and even Trump’s most ardent foes agree with that sentiment, I’ll go with the expert rather than the stats from a desolate and basically empty state with a population around 2 million. It’s the densely populated areas we need to look at.

      1. The current US mortality rate is 1.44% and that is with under tested total cases. That could put the rate under 1%. Hopefully that means these extreme measures are working!

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