The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the private prison contractor that runs the Port Isabel Detention Center after one of its employees died from the coronavirus, according to records and an anonymous source.
OSHA records indicate the agency initiated the investigation into Ahtna Support and Training Services on June 26.
The Monitor has reached out to OSHA, Ahtna, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement asking for more information about the investigation.
ICE declined to comment, deferring questions to OSHA.
As of 3 p.m., neither OSHA nor Ahtna has responded to email inquiries from the newspaper.
An anonymous source with knowledge of the investigation, however, said OSHA is investigating the death of a detention center employee who died from COVID-19.
OSHA records categorize the investigation as “Fat/Cat,” which stands for fatality and catastrophe investigations.
“Fatality is an employee death resulting from a work-related incident of exposure; in general, from an injury or an illness caused by or related to a workplace hazard,” according to OSHA definitions.
The definition of catastrophe involves hospitalizations.
“Catastrophe is the hospitalization of three or more employees resulting from a work-related incident of exposure; in general, from an injury or an illness caused by a workplace hazard,” according to OSHA definitions.
On July 15, the Cameron County Public Health Department reported that the detention center had 12 employees and 77 detainees who have tested positive for COVID-19.