Four people in Chaves County have tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19), the county’s first documented cases of the virus.
Information on the four individuals affected released by the New Mexico Department of Health Monday was limited, but a press release issued stated the four include a female and male, both in their 20s; a male in his 50s and a female in her 60s.
The new cases bring the number of known cases of COVID-19 in New Mexico to 83, according to the release.
Roswell Mayor Dennis Kintigh and Will Cavin, chair of the Chaves County Board of Commissioners, said in a written joint statement that the arrival of COVID-19 in the county was expected and urged everyone to be calm.
“The confirmation of these cases in our county is by no means a reason for the community to panic. It is simply a strong reminder that everyone must take proper precautions regarding their own health and that of their families,” the statement reads.
People should adhere to social distancing guidelines laid out by the state, wash their hands frequently, limit unnecessary travel and when possible avoid touching surfaces in public areas, according to the statement.
News of the first cases of COVID-19 in Chaves County coincided with Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s announcement Monday of additional restrictions on social gatherings aimed at curbing the spread of the virus.
Kathy Kunkel, secretary of the New Mexico Department of Health, will issue an amended emergency health order closing all “non-essential businesses” and requiring non-essential state employees to work from home, according to a press release from the governor’s office.
The order instructed New Mexicans to remain at home and limit outings to “those necessary for health, safety or welfare.”
Mass gatherings in outdoor spaces under the order will also be limited to no more than five individuals. The order will become effective today at 8 a.m. and remain in effect until April 10.
People who exhibit symptoms of a possible COVID-19 infection such as fever, cough or shortness of breath should contact the New Mexico Department of Health COVID-19 hotline at 1-855-600-3453, the release states. Individuals exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 are presently being prioritized when it comes to testing.
To keep up with local coverage of the coronavirus, go to rdrnews.com/category/news/covid-19-situation/.
Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext, 301, or email@example.com.