Aurora ICE detention facility reports nearly 100 COVID-19 cases

DENVER — A privately owned U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in Aurora has reported about 100 detained people have tested positive for COVID-19.

A report by the office of U.S. Rep. Jason Crow showed that the outbreak included 96 people and one employee as of last week, Colorado Public Radio reported Tuesday. The facility is owned by real estate investment trust Geo Group Inc.

“Conditions at Geo and the manner we treat individuals detained there not only reflect our community values but impact our public health,” Crow said. “Infectious disease outbreaks affect our community as a whole and we will continue to demand transparency and accountability.”

ICE spokesperson Alethea Smock said the facility has received an increasing number of new detainees and transfers from border facilities.

Crow said he warned the department of increased infections after 166 new immigrants arrived at the facility earlier this month.

New arriving immigrants are tested and housed separately for two weeks before being integrated into the general facility, the department said. The facility can hold up to 1,532 people, but its capacity was lowered because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Crow’s report said about 460 people are currently housed at the facility northeast of Denver.

Smock said the agency and on-site medical professionals are working with the health department to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 at the facility. Geo Group Inc. declined to comment.

Common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, breathing trouble, 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 a coronavirus infection display no symptoms.

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