A total of 68 immigrant minors in the custody of the United States authorities after entering the country without an adult companion have tested positive for COVID-19, the US Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) reported Monday.
The ORR said in a statement that until May 7 it has recorded 68 cases of minors with COVID-19, as determined by laboratory tests, of which 43 were in Illinois, 11 in New York, eight in Texas, and six in Pennsylvania.
Of the total infected, 63 have recovered and are already out of quarantine. In addition, 14 of them have already been reunited with a guardian, who may be their parents, a legal representative, an adult relative, a person chosen by their parents, or an organization affiliated with ORR.
“Currently, a total of five unaccompanied minors have tested positive for COVID-19 and are in medical isolation,” said the note, adding that none have required hospitalization.
Along with these minors, a total of 136 ORR-linked staff in 12 of the country’s 50 states have also been infected with SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
The government agency said it has “1,600 underage immigrants in its” care and custody “.
As a result of the pandemic, this institution has paralyzed the resettlement of minors in shelters in the states of California, New York and Washington, the latter two among the worst hit by COVID-19 in the country.
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The ORR noted that it follows the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to care for children and adolescents in their care.
According to these provisions, a minor with symptoms of COVID-19 will be isolated and examined by a local authority or a health provider, while asymptomatic people who have been exposed to the coronavirus will be quarantined for 14 days.
The situation of underage immigrants has been a constant concern for rights defenders in the United States, who have warned that under the policy of the Donald Trump Administration, the separation of families has increased and, in some cases, children have been exposed to unsanitary conditions.