CLOVIS (KSMX)- The New Mexico Corrections Department isn’t allowing any contact visits at the state’s prisons and county jails across the state have suspended visitations as top officials renewed their call Monday to limit all public gatherings in hopes of minimizing the spread of the new coronavirus.
In a press release from Curry County, the Curry County Adult and Juvenile Detention Center has activated to modify operations at the facilities.
“We take our responsibility to protect staff, detainees, very seriously, and are taking actions based on our desire to prevent them from being in harms’ way as a result of COVID-19,” said Curry County Detention Center Administrator Mark Gallegos. “Anytime we make these types of changes and enhancements to detention operations, we are acutely aware of the impact it has on those who work and live in our detention center as well as their loved ones, and we do our best to lessen the impact as much as possible”.
At this time, in order to best protect Curry County Detention Center, effective immediately the Curry County Detention Center will:
- Suspend all visiting in our detention center. CCADC understands that this will greatly impact the Detainee Population, but have made the difficult decision that the risk of a visitor potentially bringing COVID-19 into a detention center is something that must be prevented to the extent possible. CCADC is currently looking at options for conducting and expanding the amount of phone time allowed in order to assist detainees in staying connected to those they care about. Legal visits will still occur but will be non-contact visits.
- Suspend all-volunteer services at the facilities. CCADC will be looking at other recreation options to fill in gaps created by this temporary loss of volunteers.
- All public tours and family reunification events will be postponed.
- All staff will be limiting any inter-facility travel unless absolutely necessary and will be conducting inter-facility meetings via phone or web conference whenever possible. CCADC will review these decisions regularly over the next 30 days.
“As a result, to maintain good housekeeping standards, the Curry County Adult and Juvenile Detention Center staff will continue to clean and sanitize all detainee living areas as well as work stations for our employees. Lastly, we will continue to educate both staff and detainees on the COVID- 19 Virus on all precautionary measures as new information has been obtained.”
State health officials announced Sunday that four more people tested positive for the virus, pushing New Mexico’s total to 17. Cases have been reported in Bernalillo, Sandoval, Santa Fe and Socorro counties. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has said more cases are likely to emerge as testing ramps up.