Mass testing at Wilder Youth Devlopment Center after confirmed COVID-19 cases

(Source: Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf / CC BY 2.0)
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Tennessee officials held a mass testing event at the Wilder Youth Development Center in Somerville after one child and two security staff tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend after showing symptoms. All three had been contained to the same unit.

The Tennessee Department of Children's Services worked alongside the Tennessee Department of Health and the Tennessee National Guard to hold a COVID-19 mass testing Thursday.

“We promptly requested the testing of all juveniles placed at Wilder, and the staff who work there, as we have previously done when positive results have come back at other youth treatment facilities,” Commissioner Jennifer Nichols said. “We have taken great precautions since the beginning of this pandemic to help stop the spread of COVID-19 into Wilder. That includes suspending all visitations, requiring all staff to undergo symptom and temperature checks prior to entry into the facility – even when they return from breaks and supplying PPE to staff and youth.”

The juvenile is quarantined and being treated and monitored by Wilder nurses.

The security staff members are quarantined at home.

Two additional juveniles and two security staff members from a
separate dorm on the campus who also showed symptoms have been tested and results are pending. At this time, the cases are contained in two separate dorms on the campus.

An administrative staff member, who does not interact with juveniles and who works in the separate administration building, tested positive and is quarantined at home.

Wilder is the only juvenile treatment facility operated by the Department of Children’s Services. It currently has a population of 109 juveniles and a total of 152 staff. It's just east of Memphis.

DCS is in the process of notifying the parents of all youth placed at the facility of the testing. The department said it will continue to follow protocol for screening and care of the youth and staff at the facility.

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