Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has announced that four detainees in the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility in Batavia have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
A spokesman for ICE said the COVID-19 positive inmates are
- A 62-year-old Pakistani national,
- a 29-year-old Somali national,
- a 37-year-old Honduran national, and
- a 31-year-old Honduran national
We asked about contact tracing and whether any contacts, including, potentially staff, were placed on mandatory isolation, the spokesman responded, "Consistent with CDC guidelines, those who have come in contact with these individuals have been cohorted and are being monitored for symptoms."
A total of 48 ICE detainees nationally have tested positive, and 15 ICE employees working at detention centers have tested positive, but so far there are no reports of an employee of ICE in Batavia testing positive.
Any people testing positive for COVID-19 at federal facilities in Batavia are not part of the positive-case count provided by county health officials. The Genesee County Health Department is not notified of positive cases either the detention facility or the VA Medical Center.
CORRECTION: The paragraph above was based on information provided by the Health Department. Today, we received an email saying this statement was incorrect and during today's briefing (April 10), Public Health Director Paul Pettit said positive test results from these facilities are included in the county's tally of positive cases.
However, Paul Pettit, director of public health, said today that if asked for assistance with contact tracing to check for community spread, that assistance would be provided.
Earlier this week, Justice for Migrant Families WNY, an advocacy group, released what it said is a statement authorized by several detainees in Batavia. The statement indicated that detainees are concerned about the possibility of coronavirus in the facility because of numerous interactions with staff and the inability to properly social distance.