Hundreds of migrant children detained at border have tested positive for COVID-19

Hundreds of migrant children detained at border have tested positive for COVID-19
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Hundreds of migrant children who have been detained at the U.S.-Mexico border have tested positive for COVID-19, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) told The Hill.

The agency said there have been 2,897 lab-confirmed COVID-19 tests among unaccompanied children since March 24, 2020. Of that number, 2,587 have recovered and have moved out of medical isolation.

The department also said 1,819 have moved from isolation and have since been discharged to a sponsor.


There are currently 319 children currently in isolation due to a positive COVID-19 test, the agency said.

The numbers were first reported by Axios. The news outlet noted that there are more than 11,500 unaccompanied children in HHS shelters.

The agency said the “positivity rate in general is what we anticipated and planning has resulted in a robust response.”

HHS said it is currently operating over 200 facilities in 22 states, and noted that the impact of the shelters on local communities is minimal. It noted that unaccompanied children “remain under staff supervision at all times.”

The numbers come as the Biden administration seeks to address an influx of migrants from the southern border while grappling with the coronavirus pandemic. CBS News reported on Saturday that the number of unaccompanied children in U.S. custody passed 15,000.

Axios reported on Monday that the number of migrant children in Border Patrol Custody reached 823, quadrupling over the previous 10 days.


Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) ordered the Texas Department of State Health Services to investigate a COVID-19 outbreak at a federally run site in Carrizo Springs, Texas. HHS has said there was no community spread within the facility.

HHS also said it plans to open a second facility in Carrizo Springs that would hold 500 children.

Updated: 3:05 p.m.