June 12, 2020

Staff member at youth detention center tests positive for COVID-19


The New Mexico Children Youth and Families Department saw its first positive case of COVID-19 in one of its youth detention centers Thursday, according to a spokesman. 

Charlie Moore-Pabst with CYFD confirmed with NM Political Report Friday that a staff member at the Youth Diagnostic and Development Center in Albuquerque tested positive for the disease. 

Related: DOH: 162 new cases of COVID-19, six additional deaths

Moore-Pabst said all youth in the facility and all but a handful of staff members were tested immediately after the staff member’s test results came back. 

“Within 24 hours, almost all staff  and all young people at the facility where the staff member worked have been tested for COVID,” Moore-Pabst said in a statement. “Additional state run juvenile justice facilities are also being tested as a precautionary measure.”

He also said that the state’s Department of Health has been working with CYFD to maintain plans to “prevent and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our juvenile justice state-run facilities.”

Moore-Pabst said staff at CYFD facilities are wearing masks and both youth and staff undergo  temperature checks. 

According to Moore-Pabst, Camino Nuevo is a smaller facility that houses youth who have committed violent offenses.

Correction: After publication, CYFD informed NM Political Report the employee who tested positive is an employee at the Youth Diagnostic and Development Center.