MDC sees explosion in COVID-19 cases

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.

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email

Nativo Sponsored Content

Ad Tango

taboola desktop


Joint Chiefs chairman calls Afghan war a 'strategic failure'
ABQnews Seeker
The top U.S. military officer called ... The top U.S. military officer called the 20-year war in Afghanistan a 'strategic failure' and told Congress on Tuesday that he believes the U.S. ...
'Hamilton' single tickets go on sale online Oct. 5
ABQnews Seeker
Award-winning musical tells the story of ... Award-winning musical tells the story of Alexander Hamilton
State not releasing spring standardized test results
ABQnews Seeker
Only 10% of NM public school ... Only 10% of NM public school students participated last year
Donation builds on long legacy of conservation
ABQnews Seeker
San Juan County rancher gives two ... San Juan County rancher gives two easements to state for 12,500-acre site
Isotopes win home finale of 'important' season back with ...
ABQnews Seeker
The Albuquerque Isotopes, who successfully ushered ... The Albuquerque Isotopes, who successfully ushered New Mexico sports fans back into action with the first large-scale public gathering in May put a bow ...
Making room: Major expansions at Presbyterian, UNMH well under ...
ABQnews Seeker
A pair of New Mexico's largest ... A pair of New Mexico's largest hospitals are making headway on massive construction projects, ...
Lawsuit filed in fatal balloon crash
ABQnews Seeker
FAA report last week said pilot ... FAA report last week said pilot had cocaine, marijuana in his system
ABQ restaurants mark reopening with free food
ABQnews Seeker
The Feel Good and Modern General ... The Feel Good and Modern General Feed and Seed offer free meals Tuesday and Wednesday
Cool weather, rain expected for New Mexico this week
ABQnews Seeker
National Weather Service office in ABQ ... National Weather Service office in ABQ focused on 'heavy rain and flash flooding risk'