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Update from the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice Regarding Coronavirus Disease 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 29, 2020

CONTACT:
DJJ Communications Office
news@djj.state.fl.us                                            
(850) 921-5900

 

Tallahassee, Fla.The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice continues to take all necessary precautions related to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Florida. We will continue to prioritize the wellbeing of our youth and the staff who care for them and are equipped to handle any potential cases of COVID-19 within state-operated detention centers and residential commitment programs in Florida.

 On March 27, 2020, an employee at the Broward Youth Treatment Center was confirmed positive for COVID-19.  The employee has been out of work for five days and will not return to work until a full recovery is documented by a medical professional. DJJ is working closely with the local county health department to determine next steps for screening staff and the youth at the program.

  • At this time, all staff and youth at the program are asymptomatic.  
  • There are currently 27 youth at the program. Parents and guardians of youth at the program have been notified as well as other employees. All youth are being continuously monitored and checked for flu-like symptoms.
  • The program implemented a daily sanitation plan to reduce the risk of spreading or contamination from an infectious illness.
  • No additional youth will be admitted to the program until further notice.
  • All staff coming into the program are screened every day and will continue to be screened when they report to work. Staff are also being monitored for flu-like symptoms.
  • All essential vendors and approved visitors are screened prior to coming into the program. No visitors have been inside the program within the last 14 days.

DJJ COVID-19 Response

  • The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice issued an emergency order suspending visitation at all state-operated juvenile detention centers and juvenile residential commitment programs until April 15, 2020, unless extended.
  • DJJ instituted additional screening measures for outside vendors who work within juvenile facilities.
  • Pandemic plans have been developed and disseminated for all state-operated juvenile detention centers. Residential commitment providers have developed individual plans for juvenile residential commitment programs. All plans are in keeping with CDC guidelines.
  • The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice has modified screening protocols and procedures for youth taken into custody by law enforcement who are brought to juvenile assessment centers and detention screening units to now include precautionary coronavirus screening questions and protocols.
  • The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice’s Office of Health Services developed COVID-19 guidance for all facilities serving DJJ youth. This guidance included CDC criteria on how to assess and care for youth who are exhibiting fever and respiratory symptoms and environmental cleaning and disinfection recommendations.

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