Mar 24, 2020 - Politics & Policy

First ICE detainee tests positive for coronavirus

Photo: Paul J. Richards/AFP via Getty Images

Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced Tuesday that the first detainee has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Why it matters: Immigration advocates have been pushing for the release of at-risk detainees to halt COVID-19's spread in their confined facilities. There are currently 17,785 immigrants in ICE custody with no pending criminal charges or convictions.

  • The American Civil Liberties Union has sued for the release of all ICE detainees "who are in civil detention and are at high risk for serious illness or death in the event of COVID-19 infection."

Details: Per an ICE statement, the individual who tested positive is a 31-year-old from Mexico who was detained at the Bergen County Jail in Hackensack, New Jersey, but has since been moved to quarantine and is receiving medical care.

  • The statement adds: "Consistent with CDC guidelines, those who have come in contact with the individual have been cohorted and are being monitored for symptoms. ICE is suspending intake at the facility until further information is available."

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Tiger at Bronx Zoo tests positive for coronavirus

A Malayan tiger cub in its enclosure at the Bronx Zoo on April 27, 2017. Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

A Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to statements from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Wildlife Conservation Society, which manages the New York City zoo.

Why it matters: It's the first known animal to test positive for the virus in the United States. The tiger is believed to have contracted the virus from an asymptomatic zookeeper.

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CDC launches hospitalization and coronavirus fatality trackers

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched two new national tracking tools for the novel coronavirus in the U.S. on Saturday — one to monitor fatalities and another for hospitalizations.

Why it matters: The coronavirus testing kit shortage has challenged public health experts' ability to understand the scope of the outbreak in the U.S., NPR reports. States have scrambled to produce their own systems and monitor the data.

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U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll passes 9,600

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Recorded deaths from the novel coronavirus surpassed 9,600 in the U.S. Sunday night, per Johns Hopkins data. The death toll in the U.S. has risen over 1,000 every day since April 1.

Why it matters: U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said on Sunday this upcoming week will be "the hardest and saddest week of most Americans' lives" — calling it our "our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment."

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