Judges order release of 3 Wyatt detainees as 8 test positive for COVID-19

Central Falls City Council votes to cut ties with Wyatt Detention Facility

CENTRAL FALLS, R..I (WPRI) – Citing risks tied to COVID-19, two U.S District Court judges in Rhode Island have ordered the temporary release of three detainees at the Wyatt Detention Center in Central Falls.

The detainees were ordered to self-quarantine for 14 days and two will be monitored by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) via GPS tracking devices.

The decisions came just days after the federal detention facility revealed its first case of COVID-19 and the same day the prison announced seven additional cases. The disclosures came in the form of reports filed with the U.S. District Court in a response to an order by Chief Judge John McConnell.

As of Friday, Wyatt reported 71 detainees had been tested. In addition to the eight positive tests, seven were pending and 56 had come back negative. Tests were performed on detainees who had or may have had contact with the original positive detainee, according to the report filed with the court.

A spokesperson declined to say when that detainee arrived and if they were immediately isolated.

Thirty-one staff members had also been tested as of Friday. None had tested positive for COVID-19, while 21 tests had come back negative and 10 were pending.

The facility said any detainee that tests positive will be isolated in a negative pressure unit.

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