Probation Department Employee at Sylmar Juvenile Hall Tests Positive for Coronavirus

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A Los Angeles County Probation Department employee who works at Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall in Sylmar has tested positive for coronavirus, the agency's interim chief said in a memo to staff on Wednesday.

The chief said his agency was unable to identify the employee due to confidentiality provisions regarding medical and personnel records, but the last day the employee worked at the facility was Friday.

The employee has been self-quarantining at home after receiving the positive test on Monday, said Chief Ray Leyva. The agency is working with the county health department and has identified staff who may have been exposed to the employee within an assigned unit.

"In an abundance of caution, these staff members have already been notified and have been directed to contact their personal physician and self-quarantine at home for 14 days," he said.

He said no youth or staff at the hall have COVID-19 symptoms. Twenty-one youth who were exposed to the staff member testing positive are from one unit and are being quarantined, he said. They are being closely monitored.

The agency has thoroughly sanitized the unit, Leyva said.

"We are doing our best to provide the personal protective equipment necessary to keep all staff and youth healthy."

The Probation Department suspended visitation at its juvenile halls and residential treatment facilities in mid-March to reduce the possible spread of the virus. It also closed all of its offices to the public.

Late last month, the Los Angeles Superior Court's Sylmar courthouse was closed for three days because a deputy public defender tested positive for the virus. All affected judges and staff at the facility were told the self- quarantine for 14 days.

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