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.

Seven more youth at Gainesville State School tested positive for the coronavirus over the weekend, officials with the Texas Juvenile Justice Department say.

The youth at the juvenile detention facility tested positive Saturday afternoon, June 27, according to a press release issued Sunday evening, June 28, by the TJJD.

Sunday’s announcement came just days after the agency reported its first youth who tested positive at the state facility on Farm-to-Market Road 678 — bringing the total active youth cases to eight. The first youth tested positive for the coronavirus Thursday, June 25, according to a previous Register report.

“The eight positive youth are in medical quarantine and are being treated on campus,” Brian Sweany, a TJJD spokesman, said Monday, June 29. “According to our medical director, at this time all have ‘mild symptoms’ and are responding well to treatment.”

He said the agency is testing 10 other juveniles that are in medical quarantine.

A third youth development coach at the secured facility tested positive Friday evening, June 26, according to the release. The staffer had been to work earlier that day, Sweany said.

“He left campus about 1 o’clock [p.m.] and felt fine with no fever or symptoms,” Sweany said. “Later that afternoon, however, he developed a fever and immediately went to get tested.”

On the evening of Wednesday, June 24, a youth development coach also tested positive for the coronavirus, the Register previously reported. The woman was last on campus June 16, according to Sweany.

Sweany did not have updates on the two staff members’ conditions as of press time.

The first employee to test positive was announced by the TJJD on May 19. Sweany said Friday that she is “no longer with the agency.”

Gainesville State School has 112 incarcerated youth and 257 employees.

As of noon Monday, there were 24 active coronavirus cases in Cooke County, according to county officials. That was up from 11 reported as of noon Friday.

Cathy Lloyd, administrative assistant with the Cooke County Judge’s Office, said Monday afternoon that Monday’s total included just one of the eight youth who had tested positive at Gainesville State School.

When asked if any of the county’s active cases have required hospitalization, Lloyd said that information is not generally given to her and “the people who have actual knowledge are afraid to release any information that could violate someone’s privacy.” She did say none of the 13 new cases reported since Friday had required hospitalization.

As of press time Monday, there were 2,564,163 reported cases of the coronavirus nationwide and 125,928 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University & Medicine. In Texas, there were 150,851 reported cases and 2,404 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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