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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

44 mins ago - Health

Beware a Thanksgiving mirage

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Don't be surprised if COVID metrics plunge over the next few days, only to spike next week.

Why it matters: The COVID Tracking Project warns of a "double-weekend pattern" on Thanksgiving — where the usual weekend backlog of data is tacked on to a holiday.

Trump pardons Michael Flynn

President Trump with Michael Flynn in 2016. Photo: David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images

President Trump on Wednesday pardoned his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in the Mueller investigation to lying to FBI agents about his conversations with a former Russian ambassador.

Why it matters: It is the first of multiple pardons expected in the coming weeks, as Axios scooped Tuesday night.

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