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Man Detained At Mesa Verde Says Covid-19 Outbreak Was Inevitable

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Almost half the people tested for COVID-19 last Wednesday at Mesa Verde had positive results. 

Thirty two out of 70 people tested positive. Asif Qazi, who’s been detained at Mesa Verde since February, says he’s not surprised.

“It’s not possible to social distance in a place where you have to use the same sinks, toilets and showers as other people,” Qazi said. “When you line up it’s not like your lining up six feet apart. It’s shoulder to shoulder.”  

Qazi said ICE is providing soap dispensers in the dorms. But with an entire dorm reserved for people with the virus, he said they are still forced to clean their own area.  

“In the infected dorm, Bravo dorm, where they’re keeping all the people that tested positive, they're expecting them to clean their own dorms and their own bathrooms,” he said. “What person that is sick with COVID should have to get up and work and clean anything?”

 Qazi has tested twice for the virus, but still hasn’t received his results.  ICE declined to comment due to a class action lawsuit against the agency but it says it is following CDC guidelines.

Madi Bolanos covered immigration and underserved communities for KVPR from 2020-2022. Before joining the station, she interned for POLITCO in Washington D.C. where she reported on US trade and agriculture as well as indigenous women’s issues during the Canadian election. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in anthropology from San Francisco State University. Madi spent a semester studying at the Danish Media and Journalism School where she covered EU policies in Brussels and alleged police brutality at the Croatian-Serbian border.