Hundreds of migrant children detained in U.S. government facilities at the southern border are in medical isolation after testing positive for COVID-19, Axios reported Wednesday.
Nearly 2,900 unaccompanied minors tested positive for the virus upon entering the U.S. since March of last year and 319 remain in medical isolation, a Department of Health and Human Services official told the outlet.
The population of migrant children in isolation represent less than 3% of the unaccompanied children currently living in government shelters, which is more than 11,500, Axios reported.
HHS spokesperson Mark Weber said migrant kids are tested upon arrival and then taken to a negative-pressure medical isolation bed located on-site if they test positive for the coronavirus.
“The positivity rate in general is what was anticipated, and planning has resulted in robust response,” he told Axios.
The report comes amid an influx in unaccompanied minors being apprehended at the U.S. border during the first months of the Biden presidency.
Mr. Biden admitted Wednesday that the border is seeing “serious spikes” of illegal immigration after weeks of his administration refusing to call the situation a “crisis.”
“This new surge we are dealing with now started in the past administration but it is our responsibility,” Mr. Biden said, tapping Vice President Kamala Harris to lead negotiations with Mexico and Central American nations to try and stop the surge.