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COVID-19 testing underway for YRTC-Kearney youth, staff

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Posted at 6:21 PM, Apr 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-05 19:21:55-04

KEARNEY, Neb. (KMTV) — The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) said that on-site COVID-19 testing is set up at the Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center (YRTC) in Kearney for residents and staff after one teammate, who didn't return to work after developing symptoms, tested positive.

A contact investigation began after the positive test result came in and a second teammate was identified to have been in contact, DHHS said.

“We are taking decisive action to coordinate testing to ensure the safety and well-being of our residents and staff," said YRTC-Kearney CEO Dannette Smith. "As outlined in our pandemic plan, staff did everything right, those who were symptomatic did not come in to work and immediately reported symptoms to a supervisor, temperature checks of residents and staff began in March and physical visitations were replaced with virtual visits. These steps were key in us immediately identifying potential exposures and mitigating spread. Today, 162 staff were tested with the help of about 25 National Guardsmen. The testing process was very efficient and we appreciate the rapid response from the Guard and Two Rivers.”

See more information from a DHHS press release below.

"Additional actions at the facility will allow for continuity of operations. Should it become necessary, the plan in place identifies spaces to be used as potential quarantine or isolation areas. Residents will be rotated in and/or out based on medical assessments. Staff identified as positive for COVID-19 will not be allowed to work until they are appropriately quarantined and are a symptomatic for at least 72 hours.

The YRTC Kearney staff will work diligently to maintain regular communication between youth and their families, and key stakeholders. The DHHS Epidemiology team, Two Rivers Health Department and the NE National Guard will continue to conduct close contact investigations and arrange for monitoring and testing of individuals identified as needed.

Test results are expected mid-week and those results will dictate next steps. We will share more information in the coming days."