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Arizona Juvenile Detention Center Employee Tests Positive For COVID-19

Adobe Mountain School
Jimmy Jenkins/KJZZ
The Adobe Mountain School, located north of Phoenix, is a secured detention facility for juvenile offenders.

An employee at the Adobe Mountain School, Arizona’s secure juvenile detention facility, has tested positive for COVID-19.

Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections spokesperson Kate Howard said individuals who were in close contact with the positive case were tested.

Howard said 28 additional employees have been tested and received negative results. Howard said 12 employees have disclosed that they were tested for COVID-19, and another 16 employees have been tested on site at Adobe Mountain School.

“When an employee tests positive for COVID-19, they are immediately sent home to isolate for at least 10 days and must continue to stay home for 72 hours after they no longer have symptoms consistent with CDC guidance for correctional institutions,” Howard said.

Howard said three juveniles at Adobe Mountain School have been tested on site and all were negative for COVID-19.

“In addition to limiting access to Adobe Mountain School, implementing a screening process, quarantining arriving youth for 14 days, and implementing social distancing strategies and enhanced disinfection and hygiene practices, staff are monitoring all ADJC youth closely for any symptoms related to COVID-19,” Howard said. “We have the ability to and are testing youth on-site. When a youth is tested for COVID-19, the parents or guardians are notified and informed of the test results.”

As of March 2020, there were 225 juveniles incarcerated at Adobe Mountain School.

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Jimmy Jenkins is a senior field correspondent at KJZZ and a contributor to NPR’s Election 2020 and Criminal Justice station collaborations. His work has been featured on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Marketplace, Here and Now, The Takeaway and NPR Newscasts.Originally from Terre Haute, Indiana, Jenkins has a B.S. in criminology from Indiana State University and a master’s degree in journalism from Indiana University.Much of his reporting has focused on the criminal justice system. Jenkins has reported on Tasers, body cameras, use of force, jail privatization, prison health care and the criminal contempt trial of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.