The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Ex-Clovis attorney tests positive for COVID-19


March 29, 2020

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Jennifer Burrill tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday.

A former Clovis attorney, now a public defender in Santa Fe, says she has tested positive for COVID-19.

Jennifer Burrill, who moved to Santa Fe from Clovis in 2016, told The Santa Fe New Mexican that she learned of the positive test result on Tuesday night.

The New Mexico Law Offices of the Public Defender on Wednesday issued a news release stating it has temporarily closed its Santa Fe office and has launched a contact history.

The office is closed until at least April 12, the release said.

Burrill, 48, said she has been working from home all this week, but began feeling ill on March 4, with symptoms that seemed like allergies.

She told The Eastern New Mexico News on Thursday that she’s still feeling flu-like symptoms but they’ve been “about the same” the past few days. She said she hasn’t been in physical contact with friends in eastern New Mexico since “before Christmas for sure,” so there are no concerns she could have infected anyone here.

Burrill, who has been vocal about county jail inmates being prioritized for testing for the virus, said she was “not shocked” that she tested positive. “I know there is so much exposure from our jobs,” she said.

Burrill said she went to a state clinic March 4 to be tested for COVID-19 as a precaution because she works with high-risk populations and has frequent contact with police, court employees and judges.

She said the clinic directed her to call the Department of Health hotline, but she was unable to get through.

Burrill said she continued working — her last visit to the Santa Fe County jail was March 11 — but on March 21 she began “coughing really severely and having really bad, sharp pain” in her lungs.

She said she called Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center that night, got tested March 22 and received her results online Tuesday night.

Burrill was working from home Thursday and said she was still coughing and had pain in her lungs.

“Other than that, it feels like you might be starting to get a flu or a cold,” she said. “Hopefully, it doesn’t progress much farther with me.”

Burrill said she is self-isolating, including from family.

The Santa Fe New Mexican contributed to this report.


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