COVID-19 outbreak at Bay Pines Detention Center

50 percent of juvenile offenders test positive for COVID-19 at Bay Pines Center
50 percent of juvenile offenders test positive for COVID-19 at Bay Pines Center(WLUC)
Published: Oct. 9, 2020 at 5:29 PM EDT
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ESCANABA, Mich. (WLUC) - Half of the juvenile offender population at Bay Pines Center and 13 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19.

With only 32 total juveniles in the facility and 42 staff members, each juvenile has to quarantine in their own rooms due to contact tracing or testing positive. If they leave their rooms, they must wear an N-95 mask, a face shield, a gown and gloves.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services public information officer Bob Wheaton said staff members who tested positive must quarantine as well.

“Staff that can work at home, work at home," Wheaton said. "Of course with this type of facility, a lot of cases can’t be done from home. There has to be people on sight, so it’s important to use PPE.”

Amongst the outbreak, on September 18, the director of the facility increased the testing procedures as well.

“On a weekly basis, we’re having testing done regularly,” Wheaton said.

Currently, no visitation is allowed. Nightly cleaning of high traffic areas with a Clorox 360 sanitizing machine has taken place since the outbreak and everyone must follow CDC guidelines.

Staff members are doing fun activities with the youth while they are quarantined such as bedroom scavenger hunts, puzzle contests, radio Bingo and coloring contests.

Wheaton said the youth are in fairly good spirits and understand why they have to quarantine.

All but one staff member are showing minor or no symptoms. Wednesday, all of the positive youth were seen by a nurse practitioner who reported no fevers and good heart rates and oxygen levels. It is recommended that they continue to rest, drink plenty of fluids and be monitored for increased symptoms.

Testing will continue indefinitely.

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