FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 31, 2020
Youth and staff test positive for COVID-19 at Waverly Division of Youth Services facility
JEFFERSON CITY, MO –Over weekend, the Department of Social Services (DSS), Division of Youth Services (DYS) Waverly Regional Youth Center in Waverly, MO received notification of positive COVID-19 tests for staff members and youth at the facility. Following the advice and guidance of the Lafayette County Health Department, youth were evaluated and determined could remain at Waverly Regional Youth Center to recover in quarantine, isolated from other youth in the facility. Staff who tested positive for COVID-19 are quarantined at home.
"The health and wellbeing of the youth and staff who tested positive, and all other youth and staff at Waverly are our first priority," said Jennifer Tidball, Acting Director, Department of Social Services. "Indeed, this is a very stressful situation and DYS is increasing communication between youth and their families to support their needs and to reassure both youth and parents."
DYS Waverly Regional Youth Center is working with the Lafayette County Health Department and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) and has taken the following actions:
- The DYS Waverly Regional Youth Center youth and staff are following the guidance of the Lafayette County Health Department.
- The youth who tested positive for COVID-19 remain quarantined and isolated from all other youth; DYS staff caring for the five youth wear PPE. Staff who tested positive for COVID-19 are quarantined at home.
- A special cleaning crew used CDC and DHSS standards to clean the Waverly Regional Youth Center to ensure a safe and healthy environment.
- All DYS youth at the facility remain in their individual groups with no group interaction.
To protect the health and wellbeing of all youth in Division of Youth Services care, DYS suspended all outside visitors to DYS residential treatment facilities effective March 13, 2020. All day treatment facilities are on an extended spring break until April 6, 2020 and that timeframe is under evaluation. DYS is monitoring the health of staff entering the facilities and has put in place facility cleaning schedules.
DYS will continue to work with public health agencies to make sure DYS is doing everything necessary to keep youth and staff safe and healthy.
For updated information specific to the impact of COVID-19 on DSS programs visit https://dss.mo.gov/covid-19.
The mission of the Department of Social Services is to empower Missourians to live safe, healthy, and productive lives. Visit dss.mo.gov to learn more about the Department of Social Services and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.