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Virus cases spike to 47 at ICE

The number of COVID-19 cases has increased significantly in the last week at the Immigration Centers of America (ICE) Farmville Detention Center.

As of Monday, June 15, the ICE.gov website was reporting three confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus present among detainees in the Farmville facility.

As of Monday afternoon, June 22, that number had increased to 47, per an ICE spokesperson. There were no reported cases among staff.

An ICE spokesperson stated Monday that during the COVID-19 pandemic, ICE has taken steps to protect detainees in its custody and promote social distancing whenever possible. This has resulted in the transfer of detainees from facilities with larger detention populations to facilities with fewer detainees. Prior to transport, the agency conducts temperature checks and medically screens detainees for COVID-19 symptoms.

“On June 2, 74 detainees were transferred to ICA Farmville Detention Center in Farmville, Virginia, from detention centers in Arizona and Florida,” the spokesperson said. “As required by ICE’s coronavirus mitigation policies, all newly transferred detainees were quarantined and did not enter general population. On June 11, three detainees tested positive for coronavirus, and ICA Farmville medical staff conducted precautionary tests of all 74 detainees, of which 47 have tested positive as of June 22.”

Piedmont Regional Jail (PRJ) Superintendent Jim Davis affirmed Monday the Farmville-based jail has been virus-free since June 1. PRJ had experienced a total of eight positive offenders and nine positive staff during the pandemic.

“Tomorrow the Virginia National Guard will be in to test all inmates and staff who desire to be tested, to ensure we have no hidden cases,” he said.

Buckingham County has been hit hardest by COVID-19 out of the counties in the immediate area due to outbreaks in its prisons. However, the situation has been improving there as of late.

The Dillwyn Correctional Center (DCC) had seen a total of 347 offenders test positive for the coronavirus during its outbreaks, with two deaths, according to the Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) website as of Monday, June 22.

But also as of Monday, DCC had only one offender and one staff member with active cases.

The Buckingham Correctional Center (BKCC), also in Buckingham County, had seen a total of 165 offenders test positive for COVID-19 during the prison’s outbreaks, with three deaths, according to VADOC’s website June 22.

On June 15, VADOC reported BKCC had 56 offenders and seven prison staff with active cases of the virus. But as of Monday, June 22, only 17 offenders and six staff members were reported. Fifteen of the 17 offenders were on-site, and the other two were hospitalized.