Tags: Coronavirus | Immigration | detention center | ice | arizona | migrants

Nearly Half of an Arizona ICE Detention Center's Employees Have Contracted Virus

women sit inside a room in an ice detention center
Immigrants sit in their housing cell in a detention facility for illegal immigrants in Eloy, Arizona. (John Moore/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 08 July 2020 11:05 AM

Almost half the employees at an Arizona Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center have tested positive for coronavirus, including a guard who died, NBC News reported on Wednesday.

CoreCivic, the firm contracted to administer Arizona's Eloy Detention Center, said 127 of its approximately 300 total employees there have tested positive since the beginning of the pandemic, although that figure includes those who have recovered and returned to work.

"There is fear in our staff,” one of the workers said. “How can you work in a place where you fear for your life or fear for your family?"

The employee said that ”We are exposed on a daily basis. They were not doing the best contact tracing in the facility, and that's why I think the exposure has spread between staff, detainees and family members of staff."

After the death of the guard, an employee said that some staffers stopped going to work.

There have also been 222 migrants in Eloy — which can hold up to 1,500 detainees — who have tested positive since the start of the pandemic, ICE reported.

However, ICE does not publicly report the number of contract employees infected, so it was not previously known how many staff members at Eloy had COVID-19.

The resulting shortage of staff has reportedly left detainees in their cells without access to showers, laundry, recreational time or the ability to call their lawyers.

However, CoreCivic denied these allegations, with a spokesman telling NBC News that "It would seem that detainees may be using the word 'lockdowns' to refer to the facility's cohorting procedures, which is intended to prevent the spread of infection. During cohorting, there is no loss of privileges or activities."

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Almost half the employees at an Arizona Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center have tested positive for coronavirus, including a guard who died, NBC News reported on Wednesday. CoreCivic, the firm contracted to administer Arizona's Eloy Detention Center, said...
detention center, ice, arizona, migrants
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2020-05-08
Wednesday, 08 July 2020 11:05 AM
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