Report: Farmville immigration detention center should release inmates

Posted at 7:43 PM, Sep 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-08 19:43:30-04

ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- An outside expert who inspected a Virginia immigration detention center that experienced a massive coronavirus outbreak is recommending some high-risk detainees be released.

A federal judge ordered the inspection last month after detainees filed a lawsuit.

The judge faulted the detention complex in Farmville for an outbreak that affected more than 90% of the center's nearly 300 detainees, including a 72-year-old inmate who died.

Government officials fought unsuccessfully to block the inspection.

The expert inspected the center last month and filed a report made public Friday saying the center does a poor job of screening inmates for COVID-19 symptoms.

COVID-19 Precautions

Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.

COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.

Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid non-essential travel.