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45 Youths Have Tested Positive For COVID-19 At Adobe Mountain School, Arizona’s Juvenile Detention Facility

Forty-five youths have tested positive for COVID-19 over the past several months at the Adobe Mountain School in Phoenix, Arizona’s juvenile detention center.

Kate Howard, government and public affairs administrator for the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections, confirmed the infections to KJZZ on Monday.

“All youth who tested positive for COVID-19 were moved into a separate housing unit occupied only by youth who were positive for COVID-19,” Howard said. “Forty-one of those youth have reintegrated back into their assigned housing unit after being observed and/or treated.”

Howard said four youths are still under observation. As of May 31, there were 210 juveniles incarcerated at Adobe Mountain School.

On April 30,  after discovering a staff member had tested positive for COVID-19, Howard said all staff were required to wear face coverings at all times while at Adobe Mountain School. Howard said youths were issued masks on May 5 and are required to wear them when outside of their rooms.

Howard said 33 ADJC employees have tested positive for COVID-19.

“In accordance with CDC and ADHS guidance, all employees who have tested positive have not been allowed to return to work until at least 10 days after their positive test and 72 hours after they are no longer symptomatic if they developed symptoms,” Howard said. “At this time, 20 of those 33 employees have returned to work, and 13 of those 33 employees are not yet cleared to return.”

Howard said intake of new youths at Adobe Mountain School has been limited to once every 14 days to ensure that youths can be appropriately quarantined in cohorts upon arrival. She said all new arrivals at Adobe Mountain have been tested since May 18.

Read The Latest News On The Coronavirus Disease

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.