DCS to conduct mass testing at West Tennessee facility after confirmed cases

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Posted at 11:19 AM, May 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-21 12:20:05-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Department of Children’s Services say they will conduct mass testing at a West Tennessee facility after one juvenile and two staff members tested positive for COVID-19.

DCS said the positive cases were confirmed at the Wilder Youth Development Center in Fayette County.

“We promptly requested the testing of all juveniles placed at Wilder, and the staff who work there, as we have previously done when positive results have come back at other youth treatment facilities,” Commissioner Jennifer Nichols said.

All three tested positive over the weekend after showing symptoms and had been contained to the same unit. DCS said the juvenile is quarantined and being treated and monitored by nurses. The security staff are quarantined at home.

Two more juveniles and two security staff members from a separate dorm on the campus also showed symptoms and have been tested. Those results are pending.

Officials said at this time, the cases are contained to two separate dorms on the campus.

According to DCS, Wilder is the only juvenile treatment facility operated by the Department of Children’s Services and has 109 juveniles and a total of 152 staff.


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What is COVID-19 (a.k.a. the new coronavirus?)

According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. Examples include the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV)and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. COVID-19 stands for "Coronavirus disease 2019," which is when this strain of the coronavirus was discovered.

What are the symptoms?

The CDC says patients confirmed to have the 2019-nCoV reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

At this time, the CDC believes symptoms could appear as soon as two days after exposure, or as long as 14 days.


The CDC is recommending "common sense" measures such as:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.