Detainees at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center Test Positive for Coronavirus
Aztec, NM— Continued testing for coronavirus at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center has indicated that 32 detainees now test positive.
The San Juan County Adult Detention Center has employed stringent practices to screen and test detainees upon entry to the facility. These practices have been in place since March when the COVID-19 pandemic impacted New Mexico and include screening staff and contractors before their shift starts. New arrivals are isolated until tests for coronavirus come back negative before joining the general population.
After two detainees were transferred to another facility out of San Juan County, they tested positive for coronavirus. As a result, 56 detainees, in two pods, may have been exposed and were tested. As of Tuesday afternoon, 29 detainees have tested positive for coronavirus after exposure. There are 27 outstanding tests. (Edit 3:30 pm June 25, 2020- all results have returned and there are no additional cases of coronavirus reported)
There are a total of 32 detainees currently housed who have tested positive for coronavirus. Only one detainee who tested positive is symptomatic. There is one additional symptomatic detainee who has been tested and results are pending.
Additionally, San Juan County Adult Detention has implemented weekly testing of 5% of the detention center’s population. Weekly testing of 5% of the population will continue.
The positive detainees have been isolated from the rest of the population and will be receiving medical attention as needed.
There is no information about when these numbers will be reflected in test results reported by the state.
San Juan County contracts with Wellpath for detainee medical services. Healthcare staff works closely with detention staff to maintain best practices to keep the populations healthy.
Across all three San Juan County detention facilities, detainees, staff, contractors, and any other entrants are being constantly monitored for fever. Staff is screened before a shift, and at the Adult Detention Center and Juvenile Detention Center, new arrivals, and returning detainees are monitored for 14 days. Once a detainee is placed, each facility works to minimize the movement of detainees between areas.
Additionally, medical and detention staff are provided personal protective equipment and it is required to be worn by staff throughout the facilities.
Educational materials are provided to detainees and social distancing is enforced among detainees, as much as possible. Detainee areas provided with cleaning supplies daily.
San Juan County detention facilities have been in close and constant contact with the San Juan County Office of Emergency Management and New Mexico Department of Health to coordinate resources and maintain situational awareness and best practices.
We understand that families may have concerns about their loved ones in any of the facilities. Medical and detention staff are bound by federal law to maintain patient privacy. HIPAA laws ensure that medical information is protected. Staff is prohibited from disclosing medical information, except under very specific instances. Please, do not call the facilities to inquire about the health of a loved one. Staff will not disclose that information over the phone.
All detainees at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center and staff will be tested for coronavirus again on Thursday.