DENVER – A privately owned U.S. Immigration and Customs facility in Aurora has reported that approximately 100 people detained have tested positive for COVID-19.
A report from the office of US Congressman Jason Crow showed the outbreak involved 96 people and one employee last week, Colorado Public Radio reported Tuesday. The facility is owned by real estate investment trust Geo Group Inc.
“The conditions at Geo and the way we treat those incarcerated there not only reflect our community values, but also affect our public health,” said Crow. “Infectious disease outbreaks affect our community as a whole and we will continue to demand transparency and accountability.”
ICE spokeswoman Alethea Smock said the facility had welcomed growing numbers of new inmates and border facility relocations.
Crow said he warned the department of increased infections after 166 new immigrants arrived at the facility earlier this month.
Newly arriving immigrants will be tested and housed separately for two weeks before being integrated into the general facility, the department said. The facility can accommodate up to 1,532 people, but its capacity has been reduced due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Crow’s report states that the facility is currently located northeast of Denver about 460 people.
Smock said the agency and local health professionals are working with the health department to help curb the spread of COVID-19 at the facility. Geo Group Inc. declined to comment.
Common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, difficulty breathing, sore throat, muscle pain, and loss of taste or smell. Most people develop only mild symptoms. But some people, usually those with other medical complications, develop more severe symptoms, including pneumonia. Sometimes people with coronavirus infection show no symptoms.