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Winnebago County Juvenile Detention Center reports first case of minor with COVID-19

WINNEBAGO COUNTY (WREX) – The Winnebago County Juvenile Detention Center is reporting its first case of a minor testing positive for COVID-19.

The juvenile was recently placed in the center, according to officials. Staff are working closely with the Winnebago County Health Department to prevent further exposure and transmission.

“We have taken all recommended measures to guard the safety of minors placed at the juvenile detention center,” said 17th Circuit Chief Judge Eugene Doherty. “We know that even the best measures cannot be 100% successful in keeping the virus out of our facilities. Juvenile crime often requires minors to be detained at our facility, so new people are added to our population every week. We remain committed to taking recommended measures to ensure the health and safety of the minors and our employees as best we can.”

Staff said actions are being taken in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Medical personnel screen minors as they enter into the detention center. Staff are screened for symptoms when reporting to work and are provided with personal protective equipment including masks and gloves. Surfaces within detention are cleaned frequently and visitor restrictions are in place.

Officials said minors at the center with COVID-19 symptoms are placed in isolation and are tested for the virus. Positive cases are isolated from the other minors and, if symptoms warrant, are taken to a hospital.

Devin Brooks

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