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caption: A detainee walks in a hallway on Tuesday, September 10, 2019, at the Northwest Detention Center, recently renamed the Northwest ICE Processing Center, in Tacoma.
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A detainee walks in a hallway on Tuesday, September 10, 2019, at the Northwest Detention Center, recently renamed the Northwest ICE Processing Center, in Tacoma.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

'Recovered positive' Covid-19 case at Tacoma immigrant detention center

At least one person at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma has tested positive for Covid-19. But local immigration officials are not counting this as a positive case ⁠— here's why.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials believe the detainee caught the virus outside of the Northwest Detention Center.

Court records say the detainee was transferred to another center in Arizona last month. Then he came back to Tacoma and that’s where officials discovered he was Covid-positive.

The detainee was monitored along with three other men who shared housing. The three other detainees were tested but their results came back negative.

Officials say the Covid-positive detainee is what is considered a ‘recovered positive’ and insist he cannot infect others. All four detainees will continue to isolate.

This comes after the first immigrant detainee died from Covid-19 in California last week. Immigration activists say detainees in Tacoma are now protesting conditions with a labor strike.

ICE officials say they have “not seen any noticeable drop in detainees volunteering as part of the volunteer work program.”