A Santa Fe County sheriff’s deputy tested positive for the novel coronavirus, prompting tests on seven employees the deputy might have exposed.

The deputy, who’s now in quarantine, was tested Thursday after notifying supervisors of a possible infection from an event outside of work, said Juan Ríos, a sheriff’s office spokesman.

“This is the only deputy who has [ever] tested positive,” Ríos said.

The deputy did not work any shifts between the time of attending the event and testing positive, which means there’s no chance the deputy spread the virus to members of the public while on the job, Ríos said.

However, the deputy came into contact with seven sheriff's office employees, four of whom are deputies, Ríos said. 

They are in quarantine while they await test results, he added. 

In the meantime, some deputies might have to patrol and respond to calls in areas the absent deputies normally cover, Ríos said. 

The infected deputy and anyone else who may test positive won’t return to work until tests show they’ve fully recovered and the state Department of Health clears them, Ríos said.

Areas in the office where the deputy worked, such as the briefing room, were disinfected, he added.

Sheriff’s office employees, including the agency's nearly 100 deputies, are required to wear face masks, whether working in the office or in the field, Ríos said.

“Every step of the way, public Health Department guidelines will be followed,” he said.

(5) comments

Elizabeth DeForest

Yes, the C19 virus is 30x more deadly than the flu. There is no treating is early to mitigate the outcome! Early diagnosis comes in handy as to contact tracing. Some people are non symptomatic but later have blood clots discovered in their lungs, some have so called mild cases, some are sick for months, and some die. There is so much we do not understand about this virus, and saying it is not a death sentence is part of the misinformation and disinformation campaign (and it is a campaign) of Feckless Leader who is now making it even harder to get information.

We need to fight for complete transparency and as much clarity as possible on the array of symptoms, disease patterns and aftermath of this still mysterious viral invasion. It is highly contagious and containment has been only marginally successful. So, take it seriously please. Lives are in the balance.

Mr. John Martinez

Just in case you are misinformed. While about 0.1 percent of people who got the flu died in the US last year, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the coronavirus' death rate is currently about 3 percent, based on the reported totals of cases and deaths. That makes the coronavirus' average death rate 30 times higher than that of the flu.

Donato Velasco

a pandemic is judge by its mortality rate not contamination , but after it became a political tool its become a one sided weapon. just compare it to other pandemics and yes the flue and even the street crime in Detroit and other cities take out more people from gun violence.. yes take care of you self but its not a death sentence , just treat it early..

Kathy Fish

Seriously? Beyond your crappy spelling and confounding punctuation, the ideas here are super ignorant. Try saying "it's not a death sentence" to the hundreds of thousands whose family members and loved ones have died - largely low-income POC. Probably not worth engaging with someone who demonstrates such a low level of education, but I couldn't bite my tongue here. Shame on you.

Kathy Fish

An event outside of work? Um, when's the last time most of us attended a non-work event? Sounds like irresponsible socializing to me.

Welcome to the discussion.

Thank you for joining the conversation on Santafenewmexican.com. Please familiarize yourself with the community guidelines. Avoid personal attacks: Lively, vigorous conversation is welcomed and encouraged, insults, name-calling and other personal attacks are not. No commercial peddling: Promotions of commercial goods and services are inappropriate to the purposes of this forum and can be removed. Respect copyrights: Post citations to sources appropriate to support your arguments, but refrain from posting entire copyrighted pieces. Be yourself: Accounts suspected of using fake identities can be removed from the forum.