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Press Release Detail


Update from the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice Regarding COVID-19


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 19, 2020


CONTACT:

DJJ Communications Office

news@djj.state.fl.us                                            
(850) 921-5900


Tallahassee, Fla. – The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) continues to take all necessary precautions related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Florida. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in Florida, DJJ has coordinated a proactive and comprehensive response to keep all youth and staff safe within state-operated juvenile detention centers and residential commitment programs.

DJJ is committed to keeping its stakeholders, community partners and the general public informed on the number of positive COVID-19 cases in its state-operated juvenile detention centers and juvenile residential commitment programs. Parents and guardians of youth at DJJ programs are also notified of positive cases. These numbers will be updated regularly on our website.


COVID-19 Confirmed Cases in DJJ Facilities

Updated: 5/19/20, 4:00 p.m.

Employees/Contract Staff

Youth

Broward Regional Juvenile Detention Center

10

0

Palm Beach Regional Juvenile Detention Center

2

0

Miami-Dade Regional Juvenile Detention Center

1

1

Pinellas Regional Juvenile Detention Center

1

0

Volusia Regional Juvenile Detention Center

1

0

Broward Youth Treatment Center

2

1

Miami Youth Academy

6

4

Dove Academy

1

0

Daytona Juvenile Residential Facility

1

0

Palm Beach Youth Academy

4

0

Okeechobee Youth Development Center

1

8

Okeechobee Youth Treatment Center

1

0

Okeechobee Girls Academy

2

0

Okeechobee Intensive Halfway House

1

0

Total confirmed cases

34

14


Additional questions on the above individuals (age, gender, travel status) should be directed to the Florida Department of Health.

Additional Information Regarding the Okeechobee Youth Development Center

DJJ is working with the private contracted provider and the local health department to test all youth and staff at the program. All employees as well as parents/guardians of youth at the program have been notified. Increased cleaning and sanitization protocols will continue at the program.

Information on testing

The county health departments and/or each facility’s designated health authority determine when youth should be tested for COVID-19 based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention testing criteria. Youth inside juvenile detention centers and residential commitment programs are continuously being monitored and screened for symptoms and if a youth becomes symptomatic, he or she is isolated from other youth and the facility’s designated health authority is contacted.

Information on personnel inside DJJ facilities

In order to protect the personal health information of these individuals, the name or occupation of the employees at these facilities will not be identified. Staff listed above may be employed by the state or one of its contracted providers. 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. 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.

DJJ COVID-19 Response

The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice has coordinated a proactive and comprehensive response to keep all youth and staff safe. In response to this pandemic, DJJ took the following actions:

  • Developed a COVID-19 guidance for all facilities serving DJJ youth, including CDC criteria on how to assess and care for youth exhibiting flu-like symptoms and environmental cleaning and disinfection recommendations.
  • 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 include precautionary coronavirus screening questions and protocols.
  • Instituted additional screening measures for outside vendors and personnel who work within juvenile facilities.
  • Issued an emergency order suspending visitation at all state-operated juvenile detention centers and juvenile residential commitment programs. Both detention centers and residential commitment programs have worked diligently to maintain regular telephone communication, and if feasible video conferencing, between youth and their families.
  • Developed and disseminated pandemic plans 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.

Ongoing measures include the following:

  • All youth admitted into a residential commitment program are screened prior to leaving the detention center and then again upon their arrival to the residential commitment program. 
  • If a staff presents with symptoms, he or she is denied entry and instructed to contact their health care provider. 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.

For more information on the Department of Juvenile Justice’s response to COVID-19, please visit www.djj.state.fl.us/covid-19

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