First confirmed case of coronavirus in ICE detainee

It was last year when CNN gave a preview on the 1150-bed facility that contains local and federal detainees. It has come to a sudden awareness that a 31-year-old detainee as well as the correctional officer has tested positive as well at the same county, leaving the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) wondering how the detainee got the virus and how long he has been in custody. With no new cases reported yet of those detained.

The news comes days after the announcement of releasing many detainees to avoid the spread of the virus by the state’s chief justice, due to the dangers posed by the disease. The news of the 31-year-old Mexican national that had been in custody at the county jail in Hackensack just broke, and New Jersey is hence suspecting further intake until they have full details and clarification. Other detainees who were in contact with the 31-year-old are being monitored for symptoms.

With poor medical care criticism from different stakeholders by ICE facilities, lawmakers and different immigration advocates have pushed for all detainees to be released and going the extra mile in asking the government in taking action as well. With deep concerns over the first detainee having tested positive, different organizations are also stepping up in pushing for action to be taken. Different campaigns by organizations have also advised the government to speed up the deportation pace in order to avoid further detaining of different immigrates. Doctors contracted by the Department of Homeland Security office for rights and civil rights and Civil Liberties also wrote a letter with deep concern to Congress regarding the threat of the novel coronavirus.

The first case being a major signal in taking action because one the virus spreads, the letter was written in reference to the release of the detainees. With on-going updates on the ICE website, they have mentioned health and safety being their top priority and already working with the predetermined monitoring and virus management measures in use by the agency, local health partners working hand in hand in ensuring that testing is done to all detainees to fight the disease spread, but medical have been pushing for detainees to be released to avoid preventable deaths as the spread might be rapid. With measures in place, it comes with conditions in not allowing families, friends, and loved ones to visit those in detained to avoid spreading until further notice.

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