On Wednesday, March 25, 2020, Eddy County, City of Carlsbad and City of Artesia officials were notified of a positive coronavirus test within Eddy County. Officials were also informed that the individual who tested positive for coronavirus is now deceased.
According to the Department of Health, a male in his late 70’s with underlying health issues went to Artesia General Hospital on March 22. His condition deteriorated rapidly and he died the same day.
(Note: The City of Carlsbad was later informed that the patient died on March 23).
We were informed that the patient was kept in isolation the entire time. A COVID-19 test was performed locally and sent to the state laboratory, which received the test Tuesday, March 24. The lab confirmed the positive test late the same day.
Eddy County officials stressed that the circumstances surrounding the case are still coming to light. They have been in contact with the Governor’s office and with the Department of Health. The instance was the first positive identification of coronavirus in Eddy County.
Community officials offered statements of condolence while also stressing that the community must double down on all efforts to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
“First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with the deceased and family members,” said Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway. “While we are all concerned for our safety right now, we must never lose our humanity or forget that we are mourning the loss of a friend and neighbor.”
Artesia Mayor Raye Miller agreed.
“This is a very close-knit community, across the entire county,” he said. “As we continue to take the necessary steps to stop the spread of this virus, the individuals who are grieving and who are ill must always remain our top priority.”
“All of Eddy County grieves today, and we offer our most heartfelt condolences,” said Eddy County Manager Al Davis. “As we await additional information, the focus of our agencies will remain on making absolutely certain that all procedures are in place to serve and protect members of the public.”
“Staying at home if at all possible and reducing all contact is still the best way for all of us to be protected,” Mayor Miller stated.
“We are asking the public to please rigorously continue to follow all guidelines and recommendations,” Mayor Janway said. “It is critical that we all remain calm and continue to support each other.”
County and City officials stressed that essential government services will continue to be offered to all residents. Critical services such as grocery stores and doctor’s offices will remain open as well.
Residents who report symptoms of COVID-19 infection, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, should call their health care provider or the NMDOH COVID-19 hotline immediately (1-855-600-3453). People without those symptoms do not need to be tested for COVID-19.