Sunday, May 31, 2020
As previously reported, immigrant detention centers are not immune from the COVID-19 virus. Rebecca Plevin for the Palm Springs Desert Sun reports that federal immigration officials have confirmed the first COVID-19 case at the federal immigration detention center in the California desert city of Adelanto.
The patient is a 38-year-old immigrant from Belize. The patient has been quarantined and is receiving care. Those who have come in contact with the immigrant are being monitored, consistent with guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There were 25,911 people in immigration detention as of May 13, according to ICE. As of Friday, the agency had tested 2,781 people and 1,406 of those — or 51% — were positive.
The largest outbreak is at Otay Mesa Detention Center in San Diego, where 158 people have tested positive for the virus and one detainee has died.
Immigration officials this week also confirmed the first positive COVID-19 case at the Imperial Regional Detention Center in Calexico.
An ICE spokesperson said detainees at Adelanto "continue to be tested for COVID-19 in line with CDC guidance." But court documents indicate there has been minimal testing at the 1,940-bed facility, which is one of the country's largest detention centers.
Just 15 of the 1,112 immigrants detained at Adelanto — about 1.3% of the population — had been tested for coronavirus as of May 14, according to Gabriel Valdez, an assistant field office director for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Los Angeles. None had tested positive at that time, he said.
That means that for every 1,000 detained immigrants at the facility, about 13 had been tested as of May 14. In comparison, for every 1,000 immigrants in ICE custody nationwide, about 107 have been tested.