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Infections spike at immigration detention center

Medical personnel conduct COVID-19 testing earlier this month in Gallup. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

The state on Saturday reported what appears to be the largest spike to date in cases of COVID-19 among detainees at a federal immigration detention center in southern New Mexico.

The Department of Health announced an additional 26 cases – a 39% increase – at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Otero County Processing Center, bringing the total from 66 to 92. There were also 11 new cases among detainees at the neighboring federal Otero County Prison Facility, bringing the total there to 50.

An ICE spokesperson did not respond to questions about the latest numbers.

In an update Saturday afternoon issued through the Governor’s Office, officials tallied 175 new cases and six deaths from COVID-19 statewide, bringing the total to 6,795 cases and 308 deaths.

There were two deaths each in Bernalillo, Sandoval and San Juan counties. Each person had underlying conditions, the news release said. Those who died were:

⋄ A woman in her 50s and man in his 90s from Bernalillo County. The woman was a resident of Uptown Genesis, and the man was a resident of Robin House Assisted Living Center, both in Albuquerque.

⋄ A woman and man, both in their 80s, from Sandoval County.

⋄ Two women, in their 60s and 70s, from San Juan County.

The new cases included 44 in McKinley County, 42 in San Juan County, 22 in Doña Ana County, 16 in Bernalillo County, five in Sandoval County, two each in Lea and Roosevelt counties, and one each in Chaves, Curry, San Miguel, Santa Fe and Taos counties.

There are 208 individuals hospitalized with the virus and 2,357 designated as having recovered by the New Mexico Department of Health.

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