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Woman waves a paper heart to kids in the U.S.'s largest migrant children detention center Photo: Gianrigo Marletta/AFP via Getty Images

Three immigrant minors in government custody who had crossed into the U.S. without their parents are confirmed to have the novel coronavirus, according to a statement by Health and Human Service's (HHS) Office of Refuge Resettlement (ORR).

Between the lines: Of the roughly 3,500 children in ORR’s care, these are the first with confirmed cases of coronavirus. HHS had earlier stopped sending immigrant minors to shelters in California and Washington state, and now has stopped placing migrant children in New York as well.

By the numbers: 18 immigrant children have been tested for COVID-19. Four await results and 11 have tested negative, according to the agency.

  • Five staff members and one staff contractor at three different New York child migrant facilities recently tested positive as well, along with one staff member in Texas, and one foster parent in Washington state.
  • "ORR is suspending releases from New York care provider facilities. ORR’s medical team is working with the programs in New York and local health department to collect information and determine next steps," the agency said in a statement.

Some immigration advocates have called for HHS to quickly release immigrant minors to sponsors or find ways to ensure they are able to practice social distancing, as CBS News reported.

Go deeper: The danger of coronavirus for prisons, jails and immigrant detention

Go deeper

Inside Trump's hunt for "disloyal" Republicans

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Donald Trump and his associates are systematically reshaping the Republican Party, working to install hand-picked loyalists across federal and state governments and destroy those he feels have been disloyal, sources close to the former president tell Axios.

Why it matters: If most or all of Trump’s candidates win, he will go into the 2024 election cycle with far more people willing to do his bidding who run the elections in key states.

33 mins ago - Politics & Policy

CPI: The new jobs number

Grocery shoppers in Washington, D.C., last month. Photo: Ting Shen/Xinhua via Getty Images

The Consumer Price Index has replaced the jobs report as the most anticipated data drop by the U.S. government.

Why it matters: Rising prices tend to lower political fortunes. Washington and Wall Street are now waiting for the CPI number to flash at 8:30am ET around the 10th day of each month. This month's report — due Friday morning — will give a reading of how hot inflation ran in November.

COVID cases and deaths are on the rise

Expand chart
Data: N.Y. Times; Cartogram: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

COVID-19 cases and deaths are rising all across the U.S. even before the Omicron variant takes hold.

Why it matters: The holidays — and the inevitable spread of Omicron — will only heighten the risks that unvaccinated Americans face from COVID, in all its forms.

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