COVID-19 impacts Otero County Detention Facility inmates

El Paso News

El Paso, TX (KTSM)— Family members of COVID-19 patients being held in the Otero County Detention Facility are upset after hearing about the lack of medical treatment.

Three mothers told KTSM their daughters have been sick for weeks with the virus.

“It broke my heart. I couldn’t believe it, to this day I still can’t believe it, but it is what it is, and I have to recognize what’s going on, something has to be done,” Diana Garcia explained when she got the call her daughter tested positive.

One of those women at the Otero County Detention Facility is a mother of three in her 30’s.

Rose Esparza, the mother of the inmate, tells KTSM, her daughter was suffering from COVID related symptoms for three weeks and wasn’t taken into quarantine until she showed a fever of over 100 degrees.

“They’re not treating them as equals to us, that we’re out here and they’re in there you know they’re humans too. They’re not providing medication for them; she even told me that when she went into quarantine, they didn’t even give her a mask,” said Esparza.

In just one day from Thursday to Friday, the confirmed cases of the virus rose from 24 to 31 at the facility.

“We’re always worried about the next day or today, or if she’s doing okay, what’s going on, you know, it’s hard,” Garcia told KTSM.

One of the mothers expressed her worry for her grandchildren, as their mother suffers from an underlying health condition.

“She’s going to die on me, I’m not going to see her, her kids aren’t going to see her,” Rose Martinez said.

KTSM brought these concerns to the Otero County Detention Facility and received this statement which reads in part: “Anyone needing medical attention is seen promptly, evaluated and provided with the proper medical attention they need.”

It added it is following all guidelines provided by the CDC for prisons.

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