Juvenile justice COVID-19 infections increasing

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FROM THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

Florida’s juvenile justice system has topped 300 cases of COVID-19, with 152 youths and 152 workers testing positive, according to numbers released Tuesday by the Department of Juvenile Justice.

The numbers of cases have steadily increased in recent weeks, with the totals up from 136 youths and 134 workers infected on Thursday.

Palm Beach Youth Academy has had the most youth cases, with 21, according to Tuesday’s numbers. It is followed by the Okeechobee Juvenile Offender Corrections Center maximum-risk facility, with 17 cases, and the Okeechobee Youth Development Center and Redwood Youth Academy, each with 16 cases.

The department said 69 of the 152 youths who have tested positive are no longer in medical isolation.

South Florida worst for workers

Broward Regional Juvenile Detention Center has had the most worker cases, with 15. It is followed by the Palm Beach Youth Academy, with 14 cases, and the Miami-Dade Regional Juvenile Detention Center, with 12 cases. The department said 57 of the 152 employees who have tested positive have been medically cleared to return to work.

“All staff that work inside DJJ facilities are screened daily on every shift prior to entering the facility and if a staffer presents with symptoms, he or she is denied entry and is instructed to contact their health care provider,” the department said in a news release.

“Staff will not be permitted to return to work until cleared by a medical professional. Outside vendors and personnel continue to be screened daily prior to entry.”

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