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Every positive COVID-19 case in Pearsall traced to immigration detention center, officials say

County officials say statistics not reported in a timely manner

PEARSALL, Texas – All of the 10 positive COVID-19 cases in Frio County have been traced to the South Texas Immigration and Customs Enforcement Processing and Detention Center, according to Fred Reyes, Pearsall city manager.

The GEO Group, a private company that operates the facility, reported that seven detainees and three employees tested positive from COVID-19 recently, Reyes said.

They're statistics that are concerning to area residents, he said.

“I believe the concern is -- on our end -- is just that they want to have good, solid and valid information,” Reyes said.

And that, according to County Commissioner Joe Asunción, is often difficult to get in a timely manner.

His constituents, he said, want answers.

“They’re just demanding answers, and they’re demanding answers from the people who hold them, GEO,” Asunción said.

He said he is merely uncomfortable with the firm’s reporting procedures.

“The one thing I’ve never wanted to say to constituents is, ‘There is nothing we can do,’” he said. “And that’s the feeling that I have right now. It’s so frustrating.”

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