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DSCYF announces positive coronavirus test result at secure facility

Delaware News Desk
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times

The Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families announced March 30 that a staff member working at Ferris School tested positive for coronavirus.

The individual has not reported to work for an extended period of time. However, as is the case with any positive test result, once informed the department began the implementation of notification and cleaning protocols. Impacted staff were directly advised to enable them to monitor themselves for symptoms. The area where the staff member was stationed was immediately closed off to others working within the building. The area was disinfected according to guidance from the state of Delaware and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Ferris School is a Level V secure care facility. Families of all youth in the facility, regardless of their actual potential for exposure, have been contacted and all youth are being closely monitored for symptoms. To date, no other staff member nor student has reported any symptoms. In order to protect personal health information, DSCYF is unable to disclose additional information about this case.

In response to the coronavirus, DSCYF implemented multiple policy and procedural changes over the last several weeks including limiting face-to-face contacts; providing facility and community-based staff with personal protective gear; increasing screening protocols for anyone entering a facility; bolstering cleaning protocols; and establishing plans to separate symptomatic individuals to slow the spread of the virus, when needed.

“As Delaware continues to face this public health emergency, we are working diligently to protect our youth and staff from the potential spread of COVID-19,” said Josette Manning, secretary of the Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families. “This is an extremely difficult time for youth to be away from their families and we recognize that this notification adds additional stress. To that end, we have provided resources, like onsite therapists, to help staff better support youth and families during this time. We thank our families for their patience and understanding, and thank our dedicated staff who put the needs of our youth first every single day.”