SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — Santa Clara County health officials on Wednesday confirmed an outbreak of over a dozen cases among youths and staff at two of the county’s juvenile detention facilities.
“After nine months without a single detected case of transmission within its juvenile facilities, today the County of Santa Clara is reporting that nine youth have recently tested positive at Juvenile Hall and William F. James Ranch facilities, as well as four staff members,” the press release issued by the county health department read.
According to the release, one youth detained at the William F. James Ranch facility reported symptoms and tested positive for COVID-19 last Saturday. The following day, a second youth detained at Juvenile Hall also tested positive for COVID after exhibiting symptoms.
After the two positive tests, officials proceeded to test all youth housed as well as staff members working at both facilities. Testing has been completed at James Ranch and all youth at Juvenile Hall are in the process of being tested. It was during that testing that the additional cases were found.
In accordance with established protocols, everyone who was in close contact with the individuals who tested positive have started a 14-day quarantine.
“The Probation Department has notified all caregivers of the youth who have tested positive for COVID-19, and they are all receiving excellent medical care,” the release said.
The Santa Clara County Probation Department is working with county health officials to investigate the source of the COVID exposures and will determine if its protocols require enhancements. The Probation Department is also assessing whether additional youth can be safely released from custody to further reduce the risk of transmission within Juvenile Hall.
The announcement came the same day that Santa Clara County health officials warned that the current COVID surge had some South Bay hospitals edging closer to capacity, with ICUs in the southern part of the already nearly full.