Migrant kids have evaluated positive for COVID-19 inside most of Texas’ state-licensed shelters since the beginning of March, as the U.S. continues to see an increase of unaccompanied minors arriving at its Southern border. Shelters offer interim care to migrant children and teenagers after they are transferred from federal detention centers and prior to their release to guardians.
Thirty-seven of 44 shelters, currently real estate migrant children and teens in numerous parts of Texas, reported favorable COVID-19 cases between March 5 and 23, according to data collected by the Texas Health and Person Providers Commission. Newsweek got the data on Wednesday. It shows cases identified by shelter centers and foster care suppliers which are then reported to authorities at the health and human services commission.
The number of shelters that verified infection cases in migrant children over the past two-and-a-half weeks represent 84 percent of all shelters overseen by the state. At least 261 children evaluated favorable as of Tuesday, with the majority of cases detected in shelters. Foster care service providers reported a handful of confirmed cases as well.
Authorities within President Joe Biden’s administration are now working to open extra shelter spaces for migrant youth, as security concerns grow together with risks of COVID-19 transmission. The U.S. Health and Human Solutions Department announced its plans to open six new intake and increase care centers to hold unaccompanied minors momentarily, after authorities stressed an urgent need for broadened capacity throughout the pandemic.
The department’s Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), a branch of the Administration for Children and Households, reopened an overflow shelter center in Texas’ Carrizo Springs last month, which can housing roughly 950 residents. ORR runs more than 200 temporary shelter centers for migrant youth and has increased its general bed capacity to 13,500 in an effort to mitigate dangers of COVID-19 transmission. Texas Guv Greg Abbott referenced a break out at the Carrizo Springs facility in a statement provided recently, blaming the Biden administration for hazardous conditions that unaccompanied minors face in federally run facilities.