Positive at the state school: Testing for coronavirus ongoing at local facilities

A staff member at the Gainesville State School, on Farm-to-Market Road 678, recently tested positive for the coronavirus.

Two more staff members at the Gainesville State School have tested positive for the coronavirus, Texas Juvenile Justice Department spokesman Brian Sweany said.

Sweany confirmed the positives — a man and a woman — Monday afternoon, July 13. He said the woman who tested positive was last on campus June 18 and the man was last on campus July 9. The status of their conditions was not provided.

The two new cases brings the total number of staffers with the virus to eight. A sixth employee at Gainesville State School tested positive for the coronavirus Friday, July 10, according to a previous Register report. The male youth development coach was last on campus June 29. Information on his condition wasn’t provided as of press time.

The first employee to test positive for the coronavirus was reported by the TJJD on May 19. That person is no longer with the state facility on Farm-to-Market Road 678. Four more tested positive June 24, June 26, July 1 and July 7, the Register previously reported. The conditions of those four were not immediately available as of late Monday afternoon.

Twelve of the 13 youth who earlier tested positive for the coronavirus have recovered, the Register previously reported, and the facility had no new youth cases as of press time.

Sweany said Monday that the remaining youth is “doing well and should be back to his dorm shortly.”

“The medical director will confirm when that happens,” he said.

Coronavirus testing at the secured juvenile detention facility is underway, Sweany said.

“We do have mandatory/optional categories for staff given their current assignments but all youth are tested,” he said.

The state of Texas is paying for the testing, which consists of a mouth swab, and teams from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice will provide training and assistance for TJJD staff to administer the tests.

Gainesville State School has 109 incarcerated youth and 257 employees.

As of noon Friday, July 10, there were 35 active coronavirus cases in Cooke County, according to county officials. There have also been two reported coronavirus-related fatalities. Three patients are hospitalized, Cooke County Judge Jason Brinkley said Monday afternoon, July 13.

As of press time Monday, there were 3,346,246 reported cases of the coronavirus nationwide and 135,425 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University & Medicine. In Texas, there were 262,762 reported cases and 3,216 deaths.

COVID-19, which stands for coronavirus disease 2019, is caused by a coronavirus named SARS-CoV-2. It first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China.

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