The Metropolitan Detention Center registered 73 cases of COVID-19 in the past 48 hours. That’s in addition to 32 cases at the jail on Saturday.
Julia Rivera, a spokeswoman for MDC, said the surge has come alongside an uptick in bookings — 314 — over the past few weekends. As restrictions have laxed, she said the facility has seen more and more arrests come in.
“The bulk of these cases are coming out of intake pods and are indicative of how this is playing out,” she said. “Based on the numbers, it appears there is something happening on the streets that’s causing us to have a little higher of a volume.”
Gilbert Gallegos, an Albuquerque police spokesman, said police booked 51 people into jail following an anti-crime operation last week. Since August police have arrested 202 people in similar operations.
Rivera said two MDC staff members have also tested positive. In all, the jail has tallied 180 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began and 105 of those have been recorded in the past 72 hours.
The spike is the largest seen at MDC which, like many jails across the state, has grappled with COVID-19 cases since March.
Much of the focus has been on keeping the virus out of state prisons that have been hammered by cases — particularly among inmates at the Otero County Prison, Lea County Correctional Facility and Central New Mexico Correctional Facility.
The situation in jails has gone on much quieter by comparison as the state doesn’t publicly separate the number of cases in detention centers and instead rounds them into county totals.
By mid-August, Doña Ana County Detention Center and San Juan County Adult Detention Center were among the worst hit with 137 cases and 274 cases, respectively.
The outbreak at MDC led to a total of 138 cases in Bernalillo county, which held the lion’s share of the 316 new cases reported across the state on Tuesday.
Nora Meyers Sackett, a spokeswoman for the Governor’s Office, said no additional deaths from the virus were reported.
Outside of Bernalillo County the new cases include 37 in Doña Ana County, 23 in Eddy County, 19 each in Lea and San Juan counties, 14 in Valencia County, 12 in Chaves County, 11 each in Curry and McKinley counties, 10 in Santa Fe County, five in Sandoval County, four in Roosevelt County, three in Torrance County, two in Luna County and one each in Grant, Lincoln, Los Alamos, Otero, San Miguel and Socorro counties.
There were also two new cases reported among inmates held by Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the Otero County Processing Center.
In all, New Mexico has recorded 30,947 cases of COVID-19 and 894 deaths related to the virus.
There are currently 110 people hospitalized with the virus, 14 on ventilators, and 17,489 cases designated as having recovered by the New Mexico Department of Health.