REPORT: 2900 Unaccompanied Migrant Children in U.S. Custody Test Positive for COVID in Past Year

Temporary processing facilities in Donna, Texas, safely processes family units and unaccompanied alien children (UACs) encountered and in the custody of the U.S. Border Patrol. The facility will bolsters processing capacity in the RGV while the permanent Centralized Processing Center in McAllen is renovated.
Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Axios reports that nearly 2,900 unaccompanied migrant minors tested positive for COVID-19 while in the custody of Health and Human Services during the past year. Currently, more than 300 of these are in medical isolation.

Just last week, federal officials stopped transporting unaccompanied minors to a makeshift detention facility in Midland, Texas, after officials found that 53 of the 485 (11 percent) unaccompanied minors in the facility tested positive for COVID-19, Breitbart Texas reported. The infection rate is nearly double that of the current statewide average in Texas.

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) officials told Axios that approximately 300 of the unaccompanied migrant children currently in their custody tested positive for COVID-19. Since March 24, 2020, HHS officials said 2,900 tested positive when they arrived at federal detention facilities during the past year.

Axios’ Stef W. Kight reported the following details:

Of the unaccompanied children currently in shelters, only about 3% are currently in isolation after testing positive when they arrived, according to the latest statistics provided to Axios.

  • About 7.4% of tests given to unaccompanied minors in the past year turned out positive, according to HHS’s stats.
  • “The positivity rate in general is what was anticipated, and planning has resulted in robust response,” HHS spokesperson Mark Weber told Axios. There are more than 200 facilities in 22 states.
  • But the positivity rate has been higher — about 10% — at the Carrizo Springs shelter in Texas, opened last month as the first overflow shelter to be used by the Biden administration.
  • Youth are tested upon arrival, Weber said, and those who test positive are taken to a negative-pressure medical isolation bed on site and get around-the-clock care. Carrizo Springs has 180 nurses, doctors and medical personnel, 12 epidemiologists and two public health experts.

Officials report 2,897 unaccompanied migrant children tested positive for the coronavirus since March 2020. Of those, 2,578 recovered and were removed from isolation, HHS officials said.

HHS officials report they are housing more than 11,500 unaccompanied minors — 319 remain in medical isolation after testing positive.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.


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