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2 ICE detainees test positive for COVID-19 in McHenry County jail

File Photo | McHenry County Jail

Two ICE detainees in the McHenry County jail have recently tested positive for COVID-19, according to officials.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said that the two detainees are currently under isolation and monitoring.

A third detainee, who was released a week ago, also tested positive for the novel coronavirus while at the jail. No virus deaths of ICE detainees have been reported at the jail yet.

The McHenry County jail is one of three corrections facilities in Illinois to house ICE detainees for the federal government.

According to the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office, the county receives $95 a day per detainee and houses approximately 325-380 federal detainees.

In April, the ACLU of Illinois filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Chicago on behalf of two ICE detainees at the McHenry County jail.

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The suit sought immediate, temporary release of the two men from the jail. 

The suit said that both Dembele and Taufiq Butt were at high risk of serious complications if they were to contract COVID-19 because of their pre-existing medical conditions. They alleged that the jail was crowded and unsanitary.

Dembele was released from the jail shortly after the lawsuit was filed, according to the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois. Taufiq Butt was released on May 13 following a ruling on May 7 by U.S. District Court Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer.

Court documents and a spokesperson for the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office previously said that the McHenry County Jail had implemented virus mitigation efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19.


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