Man in prison hands of behind hold Steel cage jail bars. offender criminal locked in jail.

A coronavirus outbreak in the Adams County Sheriff's Detention Facility tripled over the past week, according to data from the state Department of Public Health and Environment.

As of Wednesday, 126 inmates and three staff members at the facility had been infected with the coronavirus. Last week, 42 inmates had contracted the virus; no staff members were listed as having been infected then. The jump comes after the outbreak hadn't grown at all between Dec. 30 and Jan. 6.

A message sent to the Adams County Sheriff's Office late Wednesday afternoon was not returned. A spokeswoman for the Tri-County Health Department said the increase was "due in part to delayed reporting on cases."

The department "continues to partner with Adams County providing recommendations for masking, social distancing, isolation/quarantine, cohorting,and cleaning," spokeswoman Becky O'Guin said in an email.

Outbreaks in Colorado's prisons and jails have consistently been the worst in the state, surpassing in sheer number those in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. Though they're often less deadly than outbreaks in the more vulnerable long-term care centers, jails and prisons' congregate settings are breeding grounds for the virus to run rampant. 

There are currently 14 outbreaks in jails in Colorado, plus another 18 in the prison system, according to the state's outbreak data.

More than 3,600 inmates and staff within those jails have been infected, though that number is total and doesn't mean all of those cases are currently ill. In fact, other than the significant jump in Adams County's jail, most of those facilities saw minimal or no growth over the past week. Of the 14, only four -- including Adams -- grew by more than a handful of cases. 

As for the state's prisons, they continue to make up the largest outbreaks of any type of business or facility (though cumulative cases on some college campuses are comparable). Roughly 8,300 inmates and staff members at those prisons have been infected since the pandemic began, though again, that refers to total, and not necessarily active, cases. The majority of that 8,300 figure comes from a handful of facilities: Arkansas Valley has had 1,001 cases, Sterling has tallied 1,616, and Bent County has 931 cases. 

But, like the jails, many of those facilities stayed largely steady compared to last week's data. Delta Correctional jumped up by 43 cases to 173, while Trinidad increased from 227 cases to 343. The rest saw minimal or no growth at all.