More than half of youths in L.A. County juvenile detention facilities were in quarantine this week

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More than half of the youths in L.A. County’s juvenile detention facilities were in quarantine this week — a move that officials say was done out of an abundance of caution after a surge in positive cases of the coronavirus among staff.

According to the department’s Dec. 8 daily report on coronavirus in its facilities, 272 of its 521 youths in juvenile halls and camps were in quarantine due to possible exposure to COVID-19. Ten youths were also in isolation after testing positive.

During a Probation Commission meeting Thursday, Tom Faust, acting chief deputy of juvenile services, said that like Los Angeles County, which has seen a rapid rise in cases, there’s been a spike of positive tests among staff. The quarantines, he said, are based on a staff member testing positive “much more so than a youth.”

As of Thursday morning, about 35 probation officers from the juvenile detention facilities were in isolation because of positive results on COVID-19 tests. Juvenile Court Health Services has taken the approach of placing an entire building in quarantine even if staff worked in only one area of the living quarters.

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