CARROLL COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) – There’s been another outbreak of COVID-19 here in Maryland. This most recent cluster is at a juvenile facility in Carroll County.
26 minors and 15 workers at Silver Oak Academy recently tested positive for COVID-19.
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Jenny Egan, Chief Attorney for the Juvenile Division in the Office of the Public Defender in Baltimore, said she is angry after 26 of the 29 students at this juvenile facility tested positive for COVID-19.
She said she had concerns proper precautions weren’t being taken to prevent an outbreak at the facility.
“We raised those issues with the department of Juvenile services back in April and again in May,” Egan said. “And we believe those responses were inadequate and what happened as a results is one of the largest outbreaks in a juvenile facility in the country.”
The Department Of Juvenile Services has also been critical of Silver Oak Academy, which is licensed by DJS, but is categorized as a private entity.
In a statement the facility said:
“Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Silver Oak Academy (SOA) has implemented its pandemic protocol and followed CDC guidelines and Carroll County Health Department recommendations regarding hygiene, sanitation, social distancing, and use of masks to avoid COVID-19 exposure.”
Despite those measures, nearly 90 percent of the minors and a quarter of the staff tested positive.
At least five adult inmates have died in Maryland. Wednesday, Gov. Hogan announced the state will start universal testing in all state run correctional and juvenile facilities.
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Egan wants to take it a step further.
“We are asking for all of these kids to come home immediately,” she said.
Silver Oak Academy has since moved students who tested negative to another facility, and the staff who tested positive will be able to get 14 days off with pay in order to self quarantine.