Three Residents, Two Staff At YRTC Kearney Test Positive For COVID-19

(Photo by Ben Bohall, NET News)
April 8, 2020 - 9:02pm

Three residents and two staff members at the Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center in Kearney have tested positive for COVID-19, according to a statement from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. 

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Young people age 14-19 can be sent to one of the state's YRTCs for offenses like burglary or assault. 

DHHS announced the first positive case on Sunday: a staff member who self-isolated at home after becoming symptomatic. 

The Nebraska National Guard helped coordinate testing for all residents and staff members, resulting in 282 tests. Those tests revealed an additional staff member and three male residents have COVID-19. 

The two staff members are self-isolating at home. The three youths are not showing symptoms and are isolating in individual rooms.

"The facility is taking steps according to its emergency operations pandemic plan to ensure proper medical care for the youth who have contracted COVID-19 and to allow for continuity of operations," says a DHHS statement. "Due to safety and security protocols, specifics of where in the facility youth will be quarantined will not be released to the public." 

The state’s YRTCs have been in the spotlight since last August, when the center for girls in Geneva was emptied out because of deplorable conditions and a lack of programs. Most of the girls were moved to the boy’s YRTC in Kearney, and a new facility was opened in Lincoln. 

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