Hamilton County Juvenile Court Youth Center employee tests positive for COVID-19

Posted at 10:18 AM, Apr 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-30 16:51:51-04

CINCINNATI — Judge John Williams said he is “extremely concerned” there could be more cases of COVID-19 at the Hamilton County Juvenile Court Youth Center after an employee tested positive.

Officials found out the employee, a night shift worker, tested positive for the virus on Tuesday, Williams said.

Court officials worked with Hamilton County Public Health officials to determine all of the juveniles at the Youth Center are at low risk of contracting the virus, based on their interaction with the employee.

Still, Williams said he is concerned the highly-contagious virus could spread.

“Sure, we can have more people that are going to be infected,” Williams said. “I don’t discount that possibility at all.”

Watch Williams' full press conference in the player below:

Officials reviewed video footage from inside the Youth Center, and a team of epidemiologists used contact tracing to determine the infected employee had contact with three other employees. Those people are in self-quarantine as a precaution.

Staff from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center are monitoring the 45 juveniles in the facility. Williams said no one in the facility is showing any symptoms of COVID-19.

Court officials started to release some juveniles from the Youth Center in mid-March, Williams said. There were 110 juveniles in the facility at the time.

Additionally, authorities are conducting court via Zoom, and officials suspended visits in the facility.

The staff member who tested positive for COVID-19 was in the hospital, but the worker is now home and recovering.

Youth Center residents will receive close medical monitoring for 14 days. Families have also been notified of the situation.

Parents or guardians can call 513-946-7650 for more information if their child is a Youth Center resident.