"By July 17, 2020, ICE shall transfer Class Members who have resided at the FRCs [family residential centers] for more than 20 days to non-congregate settings through one of two means: (1) releasing minors to available suitable sponsors or other available COVID-free non-congregate settings with the consent of their adult guardians/parents; or (2) releasing the minors with their guardians/parents if ICE exercises its discretion", the order read.
According to the ruling, there were 124 children in family detention centres in Texas and Pennsylvania, as of 8 June.
The judge has demanded that the order be implemented with "all deliberate speed", pointing out "the severity of the outbreak in the counties in which FRCs are located" and the fact that at least 11 people detained at the Texas FRC were diagnosed with COVID-19.
The judge also criticised President Donald Trump's administration for failure to comply with recommendations of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and for "hiding behind unevenly implemented written protocols" instead.
The United States remains the country with the highest count of confirmed cases and fatalities — 2.47 million and 125,039, respectively — according to the data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.