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ARTESIA — Artesia General Hospital’s COVID-19 incident commander and emergency medicine director, its interim CEO, and its chief of staff have issued an open letter to the Daily Press, urging Artesians to do their part to slow the spread of the virus as cases continue to surge in Eddy County.

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On behalf of Artesia and Carlsbad Health Care communities, we would like to remind residents, now more than ever, of the importance of social distancing and wearing a face covering while in public.

New Mexico is seeing a surge in positive COVID-19 cases, and Eddy County is no exception. When we last addressed the community in late March, we referenced a study conducted by the University of Washington in which they projected an overall number of possible deaths in New Mexico to reach 500 or more. As of this month, however, our death rate is nearing 1,000.

In addition to the increasing number of deaths in our state, the overall number of positive cases has surpassed what was expected as well, with our total number of positives nearing 44,000. In Eddy County, we have also seen higher than expected positive cases, totaling more than 1,400 to date.

With the holidays approaching and flu season in full swing, we would like to remind residents to be extra vigilant in your efforts to stay safe and healthy. We strongly encourage residents to get a flu shot this year, and in order to help prevent the spread of the virus within the community, we again want to stress the importance of social distancing when you are out of your home. Proper hand-washing is also important, as is wearing a face covering that covers both your nose and your mouth.

While the number of positive cases of COVID-19 are on the rise, if we all work together we can help stop the spread and keep our community safe and healthy. Please do your part and help us do our part!

On behalf of Artesia General Hospital Staff,

Marshall Baca Jr., D.O.
COVID-19 Incident Commander & Emergency Medicine Director, AGH
Joe Salgado, M.D.
Interim CEO, AGH
Marshall G. Baca Sr., M.D.
Chief of Staff, Orthopedics