A Huerfano County man in his 70s with underlying health conditions is the first area resident to die who’s death is related to COVID-19 announced the district health department on Tuesday.

“The Huerfano County Coroner’s Office and Las Animas Huerfano Counties District Health Department have confirmed the first COVID-19-related death of a Huerfano County resident,” wrote the department. “The man tested positive for COVID-19 prior to his death.”

The health department appears to be accounting this first death as “COVID-related,” rather than “COVID-caused.”

"We are very saddened to confirm that we have lost a member of our community to COVID-19," Public Health Director Kim Gonzales said. "We extend our deep condolences to his loved ones. We are so sorry for their loss."

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