Local

Three ICE detainees at McHenry County Jail tested positive for COVID-19

Two confirmed cases currently under isolation or monitoring

A holding cell is seen at McHenry County Jail.
A holding cell is seen at McHenry County Jail.

Two U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees at the McHenry County Jail tested positive for COVID-19 and were under isolation or monitoring as of Wednesday, according to the agency's website.

Another detainee at the Woodstock-based jail tested positive for COVID-19 but is no longer under isolation or monitoring, according to the website.

The spokesman for the McHenry County Sheriff's Office and chief of corrections for McHenry County Jail could not be reached for comment. More information from the McHenry County Department of Health also was not available.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois filed a lawsuit earlier in federal district this year on behalf of two men held in ICE custody at the jail, seeking their immediate but temporary release because of what they said are conditions in the jail promoting the spread of COVID-19.

A couple of corrections officers have also raised concerns about jail conditions, telling the Northwest Herald that not enough is being done to prevent the virus from spreading at the jail. Among the concerns they cited were inadequate sanitation inside the jail, little screening of new inmates, and the failure to follow social distancing guidelines. These corrections officers also raised questions about the number of ICE detainees continuing to enter the McHenry County jail despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sheriff Bill Prim has defended sanitary conditions in the jail, and a McHenry County Sheriff's Office spokesman has said previously that COVID-19 precautions inside the facility include cleaning surfaces more often than normal, providing personal protective equipment to officers working in the jail, and distributing and posting procedures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health departments for how to combat the virus.

Through its agreement with the U.S. Marshals Service, McHenry County earns $95 a day for each federal detainee housed at the jail.

This contract has recently come under fire, with residents calling for it to be abolished.

A resolution to end the contract came in front of the McHenry County Board's Law and Government Committee, but it failed with a vote of 6-2. The resolution is expected to come up again at the full County Board's Aug. 18 meeting.

About 21,500 people currently are detained by ICE, according to its database. About 21,000 detainees have been tested and 917 cases have been confirmed among current inmates.

Pulaski County Detention Center had the most confirmed COVID-19 cases among detention facilities in the Chicago Field Office region that includes the McHenry County Jail. Pulaski County had 51 confirmed cases, Chase County Detention Facility had 27, McHenry County Jail three, and Lincoln County Detention Center one.

Loading more

Digital Access

Digital Access
Access nwherald.com and all Shaw Local content from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more! News you use every day! Daily, weekend and Sunday packages.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Stay connected to us wherever you are! Get breaking news updates along with other area information sent to you as a text message to your wireless device.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Plan your weekend and catch up on the news with our newsletters.