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The situation at the Farmville Detention Center is dire. More than two-thirds of people detained at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement prison in Virginia have tested positive for COVID-19, but the federal agency is not being upfront about the outbreak.

According to a July 9 court document obtained by City Paper’s Will Lennon, 279 detainees at the Farmville Detention Center tested positive. (A handful of those 279 detainees are no longer in ICE custody.) ICE only lists 106 confirmed cases on its website, which was last updated July 13. 

DCist and The Daily Beast report that it took until July 2 to test all 366 individuals detained at Farmville Detention Center, a privately run facility that is owned and operated by the Immigration Centers of America. Only 19 tested negative while 80 results are still pending—meaning the number of positive cases could easily increase. 

News of confirmed cases came from court documents associated with an ongoing lawsuit filed on behalf of detainees against ICE over its response to the coronavirus pandemic. Documents also show several instances where guards used force against detainees who organized protests against their living conditions, according to DCist’s Jenny Gathright

“They wanted to see us sick,” Rafael, a detainee who tested positive, tells Gathright. 

At more than 70 detention facilities across the country, thousands of people in ICE custody and dozens of employees have tested positive for COVID-19. Outbreaks appear to be linked to ICE’s continued transfers of detainees and contractors’ inability to implement public health practices like social distancing and quarantine. The House of Representatives held a hearing on Monday with four of the largest private prison companies that run ICE facilities. These firms promised members they’ll work to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Immigration Centers of America was not among the companies to testify.  

 —Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com)

CITY DESK LINKS, by Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • As of July 14, D.C. reported zero deaths related to COVID-19 and 40 new positive cases, bringing the total numbers to 568 and 10,946, respectively. This is the fifth consecutive day D.C. experienced no deaths related to COVID-19 since the mayor declared a public health emergency in March. [EOM]

  • Attorney General Karl Racine, along with 17 states, is suing the Trump administration, seeking to block a new federal rule that would strip international college students of their visas if the classes they take in the fall are entirely online. [NBC, Politico

  • United Airlines says it would lay off as many as 3,152 employees at Dulles International Airport and Reagan National Airport, as of October 1. [BizJournal]

  • An entire fraternity chapter at American University disaffiliated, as students accuse Greek life on campus of perpetuating racism and rape culture. [Eagle

LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals (tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Yet another entrant into the at-large Council race: Claudia Barragan. [BOE]

  • Chairman Phil Mendelson’s “eleventh hour” advertising tax gets pushback from trade groups. [Washington Times]

  • Virginia prosecutors support police and criminal justice reform. [WTOP]

  • Local real estate leaders happy with 10-year rent control extension. [Twitter]

YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes (tips? lhayes@washingtoncitypaper.com) 

  • Electric Cool-Aid opens Monday with six kinds of frozen drinks and grub from food trucks. [WCP]

  • Spoken Cafe from Erik Bruner-Yang showcases Japanese comfort food dishes like omu rice and chicken katsu sandwiches. [WCP]

  • Bistro Bohem closes after eight years in business. [PoPville]

  • Popular food truck brand Red Hook Lobster Pound ceases operations. [Washingtonian]

  • Duck Duck Goose in Bethesda temporarily closes, citing concerns for employee safety. [WBJ]

ARTS LINKS, by Kayla Randall (tips? krandall@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • On July 20, the National Gallery of Art will partially reopen. [DCist]

  • Kojo For Kids welcomes University of Maryland professor emeritus of entomology Michael Raupp, aka The Bug Guy, to answer all your bug questions. [Kojo Nnamdi Show]

  • The Wammie Awards go for a virtual celebration this year. [The Wammies]

SPORTS LINKS, by Kelyn Soong (tips? ksoong@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • A bunch of options for the Washington NFL team’s new name have been trademarked by a Virginia man. [Yahoo]

  • Elena Delle Donne’s request to opt out of the 2020 WNBA season due to medical reasons has been denied by a panel of physicians appointed by the league. [ESPN]

  • Washington Spirit captain Andi Sullivan is out for three to six months with a torn meniscus. [Black and Red United]

CITY LIGHTS, by Emma Sarappo (Love this section? Get the full newsletter here. Tips? esarappo@washingtoncitypaper.com)

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