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Two Missouri juvenile facilities see new outbreaks of coronavirus

Two Missouri juvenile facilities see new outbreaks of coronavirus

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JEFFERSON CITY — Two state-run facilities for juvenile offenders are reporting a spike in the number of residents with the coronavirus.

After weeks of relatively steady and low numbers of cases, the new surge within the Missouri Division of Youth Services facilities mirrors what’s happening throughout the state, which is setting daily records for positive cases.

The Missouri Hills Youth Facility in north St. Louis County has 21 active COVID-19 cases, while the Sears Youth Facility in Poplar Bluff has 15, the Missouri Department of Social Services reported Tuesday.

The two are among 16 youth facilities that have had cases of the virus amid the pandemic, which also has resulted in dozens of deaths in state prisons, mental health facilities and state-run nursing homes for veterans.

The facilities typically house juveniles ages 14-21, and at the time of a February report, residents’ average stay or time under supervision was 446 days.

Officials suspended visits to youth division residential facilities on March 13, and reported the first case of COVID-19 in late March.

In all, there are 59 active cases within the youth services fleet of facilities. The agency lists another 110 residents and staff as “recovered.”

The majority of cases fall under the category of staff, with 90 employees testing positive and 79 youth.

The youth center in Waverly has six active cases, while a facility in St. Joseph has five.

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