State children’s department confirms two cases of coronavirus

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The Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families Tuesday announced two positive coronavirus cases connected to the state agency.

The cases were disclosed as a way to deal with speculation that comes in such cases that involve informing those who may be affected.  State health officials have not offered information on individual cases for privacy reasons.

The City of Wilmington, DuPont Co. and Eastside Charter School have confirmed positive tests for coronavirus. Other employers have confirmed deep cleaning of sites in cases where staff members might have been exposed to the virus but may or may not have tested positive.

The first cases of coronavirus were linked to members of the University of Delaware community who attended an off-campus event.

The widespread nature of the cases suggests that the virus is now in the “community spread” phase that has led to increasingly harsh restrictions that include closing restaurants and “nonessential” businesses.

“Unfortunately, it is inevitable that the cases in Delaware will continue to rise, but we want the community to know that we are taking every available precaution to protect our staff and our vulnerable populations,” said department  Secretary Josette Manning. “Our mission as a department is to promote the safety and well-being of children and families through prevention, intervention, treatment and rehabilitative services. Coronavirus has not stopped us from fulfilling our mission, though it has changed the way we go about it. We have followed the guidance of the medical experts at the Delaware Division of Public Health and have taken swift and appropriate action to mitigate risk to our staff and youth.”

The coronavirus cases associated with the department are unrelated to one another, but sugget community spread is a reality Details are below:

  • A youth residing at one of DSCYF’s contracted community-based programs has tested positive for the coronavirus. Once the youth presented with a fever and cough, the youth was immediately separated. Staff that interacted with the youth were using personal protective equipment and the facility was being continuously cleaned. The youth is now recuperating at home. The Department is reaching out to the families of children in this program and working with staff across our Department to identify any potential exposure risks for staff and youth.
  • A  staff member working in an administrative building tested positive for coronavirus. The staff member is currently isolated at home. The area where the staff member was stationed was immediately closed off to others working within the building and was cleaned and disinfected according to guidance from the State of Delaware and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cleaning has been ongoing and continuous at the Department, even before the positive test. The department has notified impacted staff members and is following up  regarding exposure risks.

Staff at the affected buildings have been advised of the cases to enable them to monitor themselves for symptoms.

“I want to stress that the actions and communications taken at this moment are for the safety of our children and staff. We want the general public and families we serve to be informed of the safety precautions we are taking every day to slow the spread of coronavirus,” said Secretary Manning. “Despite these trying times, our dedicated staff continue to carry out our mission every day placing themselves at risk as they work diligently to achieve our vision: safe and healthy children, resilient families and strong communities.”

 

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