Juvenile in Pitt Co. detention center becomes first in state custody to test positive for COVID-19

Juvenile in Pitt Co. detention center becomes first in state custody to test positive for COVID-19
(Source: Live 5)

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WBTV) - A juvenile inmate housed at the Pitt Juvenile Detention Center tested positive for the coronavirus.

This is the first positive case of COVID-19 of a juvenile being held in a secure custody facility operated by the state Juvenile Justice section of the Department of Public Safety.

Earlier this month, test results indicated that all youths housed at that time in state-operated juvenile detention centers and youth development centers were not infected with the coronavirus.

Last month, Juvenile Justice officials also began providing COVID-19 testing within 72 hours of entry to all young people coming into juvenile justice facilities.

As part of that testing initiative, results received on Thursday indicate that a newly admitted juvenile who was brought to Pitt Juvenile Detention Center on July 20 tested positive for COVID-19 following testing on July 21.

Officials say the juvenile had been quarantined from the general population pending test results. The juvenile remains asymptomatic and is being monitored by medical staff.

Officials say the juvenile will be housed in medical isolation until deemed recovered in accordance with CDC guidelines.

“It is important to note this juvenile was infected not at the facility, but in the community before they came to us. Because the Juvenile Justice Section has taken the proactive step of testing all juveniles upon entry into our facilities, we can effectively prevent the spread of the virus to other juveniles we house,” said William Lassiter, deputy secretary for Juvenile Justice. “The health and safety of our staff, and juveniles in our care, is our top priority. Our employees and juveniles are wearing required face coverings, practicing social distancing and following other guidelines to lessen the threat of potentially transmitting the virus within Juvenile Justice facilities.”

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