Over 80 New COVID Cases Announced At Detention Center In Tacoma This Month


COVID cases continue to rise at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma.

Seventeen people detained, four GEO Group employees and three ICE employees have tested positive this week, according to Maru Mora-Villapando of La Resistencia, an organization working to stop immigrant detention

In addition to this week’s cases, ICE also announced 81 new COVID cases this month, as part of a court order, according to a press release issued this week from La Resistencia.

Mora-Villapando says it is hard to know how people are feeling, as they have not heard directly from those who have been placed in quarantine. When people are quarantined, any scheduled hearings are canceled, and they are not permitted out of their unit, for things such as yard time. 

“It’s like being in solitary confinement. You’re not allowed to go out at all,” Mora-Villapando says. “Everything stops in regards to your immigration case.”

Mora-Villapando also says outside cleaning crews have not been coming to clean because of the quarantines,, and GEO has locked cleaning supplies away, so concerns over facility cleanliness continue.

According to the ICE’s webpage, there are currently 35 detainees  being isolated or monitored. 386 individuals are detained at the center.

GEO Group sent out a statement on Thursday that as of January 25, 42 positive cases have been reported amongst GEO employees at the center since the first of the month. According to the statement, those employees isolated at home  in accordance with the company’s COVID-19 policy.

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