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70 detainees and staff at San Juan County jail test positive for COVID-19

Two county offices sanitized as safety precaution

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
  • San Juan County government officials made the announcement on the afternoon of Dec. 14 in a press release.
  • Detainees at the county jail account for 56 of the positive COVID-19 cases as eight county-employed workers and six contract staff also tested positive.
  • Five county staff had tested positive for COVID-19 as of the morning of Dec. 14.

FARMINGTON — There are 70 positive cases of COVID-19 reported at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center among detainees and staff as six volunteer firefighters and five county employees also test positive for the coronavirus.

San Juan County government officials made the announcement on the afternoon of Dec. 14 in a press release.

Detainees at the county jail account for 56 of the positive COVID-19 cases as eight county-employed workers and six contract staff also tested positive.

Individuals being detained at the jail are tested as they are booked into the jail.

Masks are provided to detainees and those who test positive are monitored by medical staff regularly, according to the press release.

MORE COVERAGE:Updates on case numbers and restrictions in San Juan County and Navajo Nation

County jail staff will not release any medical information regarding detainees, and family members must contact a detainee through the virtual visitation system to get details.

Access to COVID-19 testing and test results were some of the factors which led to the July 13 riot at the jail as 35 detainees started fires and fought jail staff, according to The Daily Times archives.

It was later that month, on July 24, that county officials announced 111 of the 144 detainees who had tested positive for COVID-19 had recovered.

Five county staff had tested positive for COVID-19 as of the morning of Dec. 14.

Only two of those employees worked in public-facing positions, with one in the Treasurer’s Office and one in the Assessor’s Office.

Meetings:Farmington City Council will hear an update on COVID-19

As a precaution, all work areas in the Assessor's and Treasurer’s offices were sanitized even though the employees were not in the office when they might have been contagious.

An appointment is required to conduct business with the county agencies.

The six San Juan County volunteer firefighters can return to duty when they have a negative COVID-19 test.

More county news:Most detainees who tested positive for COVID-19 at jail have recovered

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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