U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced Wednesday most of the detainees at its Aurora detention facility tested negative for COVID-19 despite an outbreak of the virus.
Earlier this month, ICE announced it would offer voluntary COVID-19 tests to all detainees and new intakes in the Aurora detention facility.
Out of 481 detainees, 49 declined to be tested, according to an ICE news release. Four detainees tested positive, while 427 were negative. One detainee’s test is being repeated because the original results were inconclusive.
The four positive tests bring the facility’s total to 16 coronavirus cases among detainees since the pandemic began. The Aurora facility, which is privately operated by the GEO Group, is among ten correctional/detention facilities in Colorado with active COVID-19 outbreaks identified in state health data.
Of the four latest cases in Aurora, two were already detained in the facility while two tested positive upon intake to the facility. ICE said all four detainees who tested positive were appropriately quarantined. The agency has issued guidance that newly-admitted detainees be isolated for 14 days, and one of the detainees who tested positive was already in isolation under this policy.
Employees at the facility have also been diagnosed during the outbreak. A report by Congressman Jason Crow’s office last week said nine GEO employees and two ICE employees working at the Aurora facility have also been diagnosed with COVID-19 during the pandemic.