Skip to main content
Skip to McMaster Navigation Skip to Site Navigation Skip to main content
McMaster logo
COVID-19 information and updates

Find the most recent updates here, as well as FAQs and information for students, faculty and staff.

Detention Watch Network in collaboration with Dr. Gregory Hooks has released a report that documents the community spread of COVID-19 tied to ICE detention.

Community spread extended far beyond the walls and fences that surround ICE facilities. ICE’s harsh and inhumane conditions have been well-documented. Under these conditions, people detained by ICE have long been exposed to illness and have received subpar medical services. In the context of a deadly and uncontrolled pandemic, this report examines the consequences of these failures for communities and counties near the facilities.

Dec 13, 2020

Key findings include:
  • Counties with ICE detention centers were more likely to report COVID-19 cases earlier in the pandemic and more likely to confront a serious outbreak (at least 15 cases), a major outbreak (more than 250 cases) and a health care emergency (more than 2,500 confirmed cases). 
  • Nearby counties to a detention facility were more likely to confront a serious COVID-19 outbreak in the spring of 2020. 
  • Between May and August, ICE detention facilities were responsible for over 245,000 COVID-19 cases throughout the country. These cases were concentrated in multicounty economic areas where ICE facilities are located.  If the cases linked to ICE were the reported caseload of a country, that country would have ranked 16th in the world by total cases, outranking Germany, France, and Canada.

Here's a link to Detention Watch Network’s press release here
Here’s a link to an article that appeared at the Intercept (by John Washington): here
The full report (PDF file) can access via the Detention Watch Network website here or you can download it directly from this link: here
Here’s a link to the methodological report that provides detail on the statistical analyses behind the report: here.  To make the main report accessible, we decided to offload most of the methodological discussion to a separate document.