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August 24, 2022Washington, DC, United StatesOperational, Covid-19, Enforcement and Removal

ICE clarifies facility operational status, social visitation across ERO detention network

WASHINGTON – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released a revised version of its Pandemic Response Requirements (PRR) June 13, which included several updates and points of clarification to the previous version and also required field offices operating detention facilities to determine a weekly color-coded facility operational status – green, yellow, or red. Facility status and interventions for COVID-19 management are based on determinations by, and in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Guidance on Prevention and Management of Coronavirus Disease 2019 in Correctional and Detention Facilities.

“Understanding that the nature of COVID remains fluid, we continue to require our teams to consider evolving, local conditions associated with the pandemic,” said Executive Associate Director for Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Corey A. Price. “Our teams continue to take necessary and prompt measures to sustain operations while mitigating risks to the overarching safety and wellbeing of those in our custody, staff, contractors, visitors, and stakeholders. We also continue to collaborate with local and state health officials, in accordance with laws, and receptive to recommendations that increase our ability to confront ongoing challenges presented by COVID-19.”

Operational status (color conditions) for facilities (not all-inclusive):

  • Green: Continue to provide and encourage up to date COVID-19 vaccinations, while maintaining optimized ventilation, handwashing/disinfecting, intake testing/quarantine, and medical isolation.
  • Yellow: All green actions plus require masks, restrict in-person visitation, minimize movement/mixing across housing units, and prepare for possible reduction in bed space.
  • Red: All green and yellow actions plus implement distancing and population reduction strategies.

Local medical leadership reports these statuses regularly to facility leadership and to relevant ERO field office directors. Facilities use several criteria that, in combination, assign a specific response level to each facility. It is important to note that facility leadership reserves the discretion to employ additional protective measures at any time based on changing public health environments without waiting for weekly determination timelines. The measures are not cumulative and are determined regularly based on:

  • CDC community COVID-19 levels;
  • The number of isolation/quarantine units;
  • Medical isolation rates; and
  • And hospitalizations or death since the previous measurement period caused primarily by COVID-19.

ICE announced a phased return to social visitation in May, which does not apply to legal visitation aligned under separate guidance. Current facility statuses can be found on the ICE COVID-19 webpage. Additional information can also be obtained by contacting local field offices.