New Mexico touts sewage monitoring program in COVID-19 fight

Jan 12, 2021

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — State officials say a wastewater monitoring program has helped to prevent a COVID-19 outbreak at a juvenile justice facility in southern New Mexico.

The New Mexico Environment Department launched the monitoring program last month. In late December, officials say the virus was detected in wastewater samples taken from the state-run facility in Las Cruces.

After testing more than 100 people, they were able to determine that an asymptomatic positive individual was working in the facility. Sixteen federal, state and local correctional facilities are enrolled in the program.

Nearly two dozen inmates at state lockups were among the 893 additional confirmed COVID-19 case reported by the state Tuesday.