Horizon halfway house resident tests positive for coronavirus, other residents worried

El Paso News

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – A resident from a multi-use facility in Horizon tested positive for COVID-19 and has returned back to the facility, but is being kept on medical isolation, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

However, parolees living at the facility fear they too will get the virus and they are unable to social distance.

“I can stand between two of the bunk beds and stretch my arms out and touch both bunk beds,” said Charles Carr, a resident of the facility. “Social distancing inside this facility is literally impossible.”​​

Courtesy photo

Photos shared with KTSM show the area where about 60 parolees sleep. More than 50, who sleep in the dormitory where the person who tested positive lived, are currently on medical restriction.

“Who will stay there for the next 14 days ​they will have their temperatures checked at least twice a day,” said Jeremy Desel, director of communications for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

But other parolees say they have gone in to that dormitory as well.

“I go in that dorm all the time,” Carr said. “The dorm doors are open you can go from one dorm to another.”​​

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice says parolees can practice social distancing on their own.

“Social Distancing and limiting the number of people of people who would have meal time together,” Desel said. “Limiting the movement of folks is something that it’s been happening throughout our system for several weeks and continues.”​

But video shared to KTSM show residents line up together to get food.

KTSM reached out to the facility about the living conditions, but officials have not responded.

Texas Department of Public Health officials say the parolee who tested positive is in good condition since being released from the hospital.

There is also an investigation to see if any of the staff came into contact with the person who tested positive, but so far, no employees have been asked to self-quarantine.

Courtesy photo

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