Updated Oct. 16 at 11:20 a.m.
After confirming its first case of the novel coronavirus in a detainee transferred from Metropolitan Detention Center in Albuquerque to its jail on Wednesday (Oct. 13), Taos County has now said that three other detainees at the local jail have also tested positive.
County public information officer Anissa Arrambide said Thursday (Oct. 15) that two other detainees – of a total of four who were also transferred from Metropolitan on Oct. 8 and 9 of last week – have also tested positive. All three have been released, but only the detainee who tested positive on Wednesday was transferred to Holy Cross Medical Center.
"All four have all been released from our custody by District Court," Arrambide wrote in a press release. "The first positive detainee was transported by the EMS COVID-19 Ambulance to Holy Cross Hospital for further evaluation and as of this press release is still there. Out of the two remaining, one detainee is self-isolating and the other detainee’s location is unknown."
She said that a third detainee arrested by Taos Police Department this week also tested positive and was in the process of being released on Thursday.
Following the positive test results on Thursday, the cells occupied by the detainees were sanitized, Arrambide said.
Staff at the jail has continued to wear PPE throughout the pandemic and tests every detainee who enters the facility, while jail employees are tested "periodically."
Responding to an inquiry from the Taos News on Thursday, Arrambide said the air filtration system at the jail is "programmed to meet the minimum fresh air requirement for commercial buildings. The system can be programmed to bring in 100 percent fresh air 100 percent of the time."