DDJ youth, worker COVID-19 cases total 174

File photo: Tube tests stand in a holder
File photo: Tube tests stand in a holder

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida’s juvenile-justice system has had 85 COVID-19 cases involving youths and 89 involving workers after substantial increases during the past month, according to numbers released Friday.

The number of youth cases was up from 31 on May 26, while the number of worker cases was up from 43.

The largest number of youth cases has been at Palm Beach Youth Academy, where 21 juveniles have tested positive, the Department of Juvenile Justice numbers show. Meanwhile, Okeechobee Youth Development Center has had 16 cases. Among workers, the largest numbers have been at Broward Regional Juvenile Detention Center, with 13 cases, and Palm Beach Youth Academy, with 11 cases.

The Department of Juvenile Justice said 65 of the 85 youths who have tested positive are no longer in medical isolation. Also, 44 of the 89 workers have been cleared to return to their jobs.

The department said it has taken a series of steps to address the spread of COVID-19, including working with health officials.

“Impacted DJJ facilities are coordinating efforts with local health department officials on issues related to isolation and care for youth who have tested positive and contact tracing to attempt to determine the source of the infection and who else might have been exposed,” the Department of Juvenile Justice said in a news release. “All employees as well as parents/guardians of youth are notified of positive cases. Increased cleaning and sanitization protocols will also continue at these facilities.”