Detainee at Taos County jail tests positive for coronavirus

Taos County reported that a detainee transferred from Metropolitan Detention Center to its jail on Oct. 8 or 9 has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

A detainee transferred last week from Metropolitan Detention Center in Albuquerque to the Taos County jail has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, local officials have confirmed.

Taos County issued a statement on Tuesday (Oct. 13) which says that the detainee was one of four brought from the facility on Oct. 8 and 9 for hearings in Taos District Court, but was the only one to test positive.

According to the the county, the positive detainee – whose age and gender have not been specified – is asymptomatic and was taken to Holy Cross Medical Center for further evaluation. The other three have been released.

The county says the jail has followed strict safety protocols since the pandemic began and tests every detainee who enters the facility. Jail employees are tested "periodically."

"The Taos County Adult Detention Facility personnel followed all their safety protocols," reads a press release from Anissa Arrambide, public information officer at the county. "Staff are wearing their PPE and continue to stay vigilant in their safety practices. Detention staff have sanitized the cell occupied by the detainees."

While the New Mexico Department of Health has relayed reports of positive cases at other correctional facilities elsewhere throughout the state, it had not reported a positive case at the Taos County jail as of Tuesday (Oct. 13).

Widespread speculation that correctional facilities pose high risks for spreading the virus has led attorneys throughout the state this year to seek pretrial release for men and women facing charges and even transfers to house arrest for convicts with other conditions that make them especially vulnerable to infection.

The Department of Health reported the total coronavirus cases as of Oct. 13  among people held by the New Mexico Corrections Department at the following  facilities: 

  • Central New Mexico Correctional Facility in Valencia County: 38
  • Lea County Correctional Facility: 75
  • Northeast New Mexico Correctional Facility in Union County: 5
  • Northwest New Mexico Correctional Center in Cibola County: 1
  • Otero County Prison Facility: 472
  • Penitentiary of New Mexico in Santa Fe County: 1
  • Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility in Doña Ana County: 1
  • Western New Mexico Correctional Facility in Cibola County: 4

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(9) comments

robinmarlowe

Given that the protocol is to wait five days after exposure and then be tested, do we know if any precautions were taken for the other four detainees, who were released? Quarantine at least?

NMLuv

Taos County, the people, should be thanking and supporting TCADC

administration, COs, Kitchen staff, and support staff! All should be given a huge THANK YOU. What people don't seem to acknowledge is that the interim warden has stepped into uncharted times during COVID-19 and has the staff he leads.

Perhaps, not everyone will not appreciate that fact, and that is ok, you don't have to. However, the staff that show up(and do their jobs)- because let's be fair- some of the complainers here and in other media type forums, are individuals who don't do their job, call in to be spiteful, insult, and belittle the residents of the detention center, and are part of the reason "moral is low", these are making it difficult for the others who show up to care for the individuals placed in their care by law enforcement and courts. Which, they do for a pay rate that isn't very lucrative. Now, the hazard pay that they are receiving is being threatened to be taken from them?And, when everyone else works "remotely," or on appointment basis only, these individuals need to be commended. Now, obviously, there are some individuals who are not happy with the choice of leadership. Well, unfortunately, unless you decide to do to apply for the job, don't cast opinion into the pot. Individuals who have spoken half truths and non truths about the current situation have not been honest or forthcoming for a reason, and it isn't retaliation.

The staff cleans this jail, so best believe that they are doing it right, they work there, they go home to their families and they care about Taos County- you, the people of Taos County- their community- their family!

County 123

So do you work at the jail to see all this cleaning being done? Cause I do and the staff does not clean the inmates clean so get your facts straight. The warden abuse his power. He has favorites maybe you need to open your eyes. Warden vigil has how many use of forces in his time with Tcadc? He should have been fired a long time ago.

County 123

This is not the only case Taos County jail. Has had there was other positive case about a month ago. But it was not made public both medical and jail staff kept it quite. There is so many issue in the jail that need to be made public.

guest3366

Oh I absolutley agree. 100%

Taoseno

The jail is currently running dangerously low on gloves and Clorox wipes. We need to keep them safe to keep us safe. CO's lives matter.

guest3366

They charge well enough for their commissary. Why not use the profit for that?? Just saying.

Taoseno

Because if you knew anything about the jail you would know that commissary is charged by the kitchen who has their own contract so the jail does not profit from that at all. Just saying.

guest3366

Covid 19 has been in the Taos jail for a while now. Ever since an individual from Cerro was arrested. The jail is run on circulated air. Everyone breaths everyone's air. There is really no way to "isolate" anyone in there.

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