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ICE Employee Tests Positive For COVID-19 At Adelanto Detention Center

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Adelanto U.S. Immigration and Enforcement Processing Center. (Chris Carlson/AP)
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An employee with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement working at the Adelanto ICE Processing Center has tested positive for COVID-19, according to the agency.

ICE said the employee was a deportation officer and tested positive for COVID-19 on May 5. The agency said the officer doesn't have contact with detainees "in his line of duty" and had been teleworking. The officer has been self-quarantining at home.

The agency said there have been no other confirmed COVID cases among staff or detainees at the San Bernardino County facility, which as of last week held about 1,200 immigrant detainees.

The facility is operated by The GEO Group, a private corrections company.

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Last week, a 57-year-old man born in El Salvador who had been held at the Otay Mesa Detention Center in San Diego became the first known detainee to die from COVID-19 complications. According to news reports, Carlos Escobar Mejia had lived in the U.S. for 40 years.

Nationwide, ICE has tested 1,788 detainees. More than half, 943, have tested positive for COVID-19.

Last month, the ACLU of Southern California sued ICE to reduce the population at the Adelanto facility over concerns about COVID-19. A federal judge ordered ICE to release detainess, but the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a temporary halt on the order.

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