ICE medical staff member tests positive for COVID-19

ICE medical staff member tests positive for COVID-19
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A medical staff member at a private detention center in New Jersey has tested positive for COVID-19, an official with the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), told The Hill. 

The agency oversees the relocation and housing of unaccompanied immigrant children. 

“ORR recently received a report that a staff member of a NY program tested positive for COVID-19. ORR has stopped all intakes at the facility, and is notifying any staff that may have been exposed,” Mark Weber, a spokesman for the agency, told The Hill. “ORR’s medical team is working with the affected program and will provide internal updates on any developments and if there is a need for additional actions.”


The agency has not seen any cases of COVID-19 in the more than 3,500 child detainees so far. Two children have tested negative for the virus, and two others who have been tested are still awaiting results.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials told the Marshal Project that at least one other staff member has tested positive for the virus, but did not disclose further details.

The Department of Health and Human Services, the parent agency of ORR, did not immediately respond to an inquiry from The Hill.

Since the start of the outbreak, some have raised concerns about how the spread of the virus and immigration policy will affect the health of immigrants.

In February, Rep. Norma TorresNorma Judith TorresDemocrats point fingers on whether Capitol rioters had inside help It's past time to be rid of the legacy of Jesse Helms Hispanic Caucus asks for Department of Labor meeting on COVID in meatpacking plants MORE (D-Calif.) wrote a letter to the administration’s coronavirus task force asking its members to stop the implementation of the “public charge” rule amid the spread of COVID-19. 

On Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against ICE, calling them to release migrants in civil detention at the Tacoma Northwest Detention Center who are at high risk for serious illness or death if a COVID-19 outbreak spreads to the facility.

Updated 9:23 p.m.