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First death from COVID-19 reported in N.M.

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The state Department of Health on Wednesday reported a man in his late 70s died from the respiratory disease at Artesia General Hospital in SE New Mexico. The man was from Eddy County and went to the hospital Sunday and his condition deteriorated. He died the same day. A test for the novel coronavirus was performed and sent to the state laboratory, which received the test Tuesday. The lab confirmed the test as positive, but had chronic health issues.

"This is a tragic day," Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said in a news release. "Across our state, across the country, we are all reeling from the effects of this virus. For anyone in our state who had not yet acknowledged this virus as the urgent public health crisis that it is, who has not accepted the extremely compelling need to stay home, today lays bare the very real, very life-or-death consequences of this disease."

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