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32 inmates test positive for coronavirus at San Juan County detention center

Additional test results pending; only one detainee showing symptoms
San Juan County Sheriff’s Office New Mexico. Thirty-two detainees have tested positive for coronavirus at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center.

FARMINGTON – Thirty-two detainees have tested positive for coronavirus at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center, according to the county.

When two detainees were transferred to another jail out of San Juan County, they tested positive at that facility. The detention center determined 56 detainees may have been exposed and tested them, according to the county’s news release. Thirty additional detainees tested positive for the virus, and 27 test results are pending.

The two other positive cases were tested and reported on earlier occasions. The county said 369 detainees were being held at the facility as of Tuesday.

Only one of the detainees who had tested positive for the virus was showing symptoms Tuesday, according to the county’s news release. The detainees who tested positive have been isolated and are receiving medical attention if needed.

The facility had implemented a weekly testing of 5% of the detainee population. When that showed positive cases, larger-scale testing was performed Sunday, the county said in a news release.

All detainees and staff will be tested for the coronavirus again Thursday and then the 5% population weekly testing will continue, according to the county.

Detainees are told to socially distance as much as possible and are provided cleaning supplies daily, the county said.

Since March, the detention center has screened and tested detainees when they first enter the facility and isolated the new arrivals until the test results came back negative before allowing them into the general population of the facility. Anybody entering the facility is monitored for fever, and staff members are required to wear personal protective equipment throughout the adult detention center and the juvenile detention center.

“We understand that families may have concerns about their loved ones in any of the facilities,” the county said in its news release. “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.”

The county does not know when the positive cases at the adult detention center will be included in the state’s total count.


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