The wife of a 59-year-old man who died after testing positive for coronavirus has urged people to “take extra precautions” after sharing a picture of them together on social media.
Nick Matthews, from Nailsea, Somerset, died at Bristol Royal Infirmary in the early hours of Saturday.
He was diagnosed with pneumonia and was admitted to the intensive care unit after showing other signs for coronavirus.
His wife, Mary, told Nailsea People that he had been taken into hospital with breathing difficulties on Thursday.
She said her husband, who was disabled and unable to work, had previously suffered a heart attack, forcing him to retire from work as a police officer 10 years ago.
She added that the test had come back positive and urged those who had been in contact with the family to self-isolate and seek advice.
The UK’s coronavirus death toll stands at 35, with a total of 1,372 positive tests for the disease.
Mrs Matthews told Nailsea People: “People who may have come into contact with either Nick or me during the past two weeks need to self-isolate and get advice.
“Although he tested positive, until a post-mortem examination, we can’t say that was cause of death at the moment.
“I don’t want to panic people, but I do want people to take extra precautions.”
In a post on Facebook on Saturday, Mrs Matthews wrote: “Today at 3am I lost my life partner and soul mate but most of all my best friend.
“Charlotte, Ben and I are beyond proud to have had such a big character in our lives. As a family we are still currently in isolation until the coronavirus test results come back.
“Someone will post again when we have more information. In the meantime, I know some of you would like to visit, but please for you and your families safety, stay away until we get the all clear.”
The couple had recently returned from a holiday in Fuerteventura, flying out on February 22 and returning on February 29.
Many paid tribute to him on Facebook, with one describing him as a “true Avon and Somerset Police legend”.
In a statement, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust said: “Sadly, we can confirm that a man who was being cared for at the Bristol Royal Infirmary, and had tested positive for Covid-19, has died.
“The patient who died was in his late-fifties and had underlying health conditions.
“The family has been informed and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time. We will not be commenting further and ask that everybody respects the family’s privacy.”
Councillor Don Davies, the leader of North Somerset Council, said the authority’s “heartfelt condolences” were with the family and all that knew him.
“I understand that the family have requested privacy at this difficult time and I ask that everyone respects their wishes,” Cllr Davies said.
“I am sure the news will be met with sadness in the wider community and it is important that everyone remains calm and follows the latest national advice on the steps needed to reduce the spread of infection.”