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Federal Judge Orders Adelanto ICE Processing Center Reduce Population In Response To COVID-19 Outbreak

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) -- A Los Angeles federal judge Tuesday ordered the Adelanto ICE Processing Center to immediately reduce its population, due to an outbreak of COVID-19 in the facility.

So far, 81 detainees out of 784 have tested positive for the virus, and nine have required hospitalization. The outbreak is spread across four of the facility's housing units, U.S. District Judge Terry Hatter's written ruling states.

According to Hatter's order, the outbreak was most likely caused by a staff member who reported to work at the facility while infected with COVID-19. However, contact tracing has not been completed, and the source of the outbreak has not been identified.

Earlier in Sept., ICE spokesperson Alexx Pons said that when a detainee exhibits symptoms of COVID-19, they are immediately isolated and monitored, and contact tracing is performed.

However, Hatter said that both the government's response to COVID-19, both as the current outbreak and as the threat to more detainees, "remains inadequate and objectively unreasonable.''

Hatter ordered that ICE must address issues at the facility by:

-- filing a population reduction plan by Monday which allows for detainees to maintain six feet of social distance at all times away from each other

-- halting any new or transfer detainees into the facility pending further order of the court

-- testing all Adelanto detainees, who agree to be tested, for COVID- 19 on a weekly basis beginning Monday

-- filing a complete and updated census of all detainees starting Oct. 12 and every Monday thereafter

-- immediately stopping the use of the disinfectant HDQ Neutral in all housing units and other indoor spaces at the facility that are occupied or used by detainees

-- ensuring that staff endeavor to keep a six-foot social distance from each other and from detainees

-- ensuring that staff must wear masks while in housing units and whenever interacting with other staff and/or detainees

-- making sure that all Adelanto detainees wear masks and maintain, to the extent possible, and keep a social distance of six feet from other detainees at all times

-- providing to detainees, at no cost, sufficient and appropriate cleaning supplies, and sufficient quantities of hand soap, paper towels, and hand sanitizer so the detainees never run out of those supplies

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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