OFFICIALS at two Southern California immigration intake centers are trying to contain a COVID-19 outbreak after 61 migrant children tested positive for the disease.
There were a total of 47 kids out of 710 being housed at the Long Beach Convention Center who came back with Covid-19 positive tests and some 14 of the 216 staying at the Pomona Fairplex, a federal official confirmed to KABC-TV.
New migrant intake center in Southern California is isolating kids after some of them test positive for Covid-19[/caption]
“The cases are either all asymptomatic or very mild symptoms,” said Zhan Caplan of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) told the station. “The children are getting excellent care from UCLA Health, our medical provider.”
The infected kids at both locations and their siblings, whether they are infected or not, are being isolated, the television station confirmed.
A total of 67 kids were placed in isolation at the Long Beach Convention Center.
“We have a team of infectious disease experts from the (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) on-site who are working with program leads to implement CDC COVID-19 protocols as the site gears up and the census grows,” Bonnie Preston of HHS said, according to the station.
The Pamona Fairplex reported 14 children of the total 216 staying have returned with Covid-19 positive tests and are being isolated as a precaution[/caption]
Unaccompanied minors are being brought to intake centers to either reunite with their family members or secure a sponsor[/caption]
In March, Border Patrol agents saw a one hundred percent increase from the month before, counting 18,890 children attempting to cross the southern border[/caption]
The official maintains that the majority of Covid positive kids at these intake centers arrived infected when they were released from US Customs and Border Patrol custody.
“Once here they remain separate from the other children,” she added.
Most of the children have journeyed alone from Central America or Mexico without an adult.
Once they make it to the Southern border, they are then brought to one of various HHS intake centers until officials can reunite them with their relatives or find a sponsor willing to take them in.
The discovery of the cases comes as President Biden’s administration deputized these big event hubs to serve as makeshift dwellings for the kids to combat the border crisis, which has already seen a marked rise in border crossing attempts.
During the month of March, the US has seen an influx of “more than 172,000 persons” trying to gain entry at the southwest border – a 71 percent increase from February, according to a Border Patrol release.
Off those crossings, Border Patrol officers saw a one hundred percent increase that month by counting 18,890 children, according to data from Customs and Border Protection.
The Pomona Fairplex site opened on Saturday to shelter the newcomers.
It has the capacity to look after as many as 2,500 children, according to the KABC-TV.
The Long Beach site opened its doors one week earlier and can hold about 1,000 children.
San Diego repurposed its convention center as a temporary unaccompanied migrant shelter in mid-April, according to a statement.
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