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Universal Testing Underway At Long Creek After Youth Is Diagnosed With COVID-19

Susan Sharon
Maine Public
The Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland.

The Maine Department of Corrections has undertaken universal testing for COVID-19 at the Long Creek Youth Development Center after one of the youth detained at the facility tested positive for COVID-19.According to a press release from the DOC, the client, who was asymptomatic, was in the process of being released when the test was administered.

Now, the DOC says all 187 employees and 34 residents at the youth center are being tested, and medical monitoring and use of personal protective equipment are being increased to try to prevent the potential spread of the novel coronavirus.

The Maine CDC was notified of the positive result on June 27, and the infected youth was released shortly after being tested, and is now self-quarantining, DOC officials say.  They say no other staff or residents are currently showing symptoms of the disease.

Earlier this year, youth justice advocates called on the Department of Corrections to close Long Creek and release the dozens of kids incarcerated at the facility.

Updated at 9:34 a.m. June 29, 2020.

Maine Public digital news producer Barbara Cariddi contributed to this report.