Nearly 20 residents and staff members at two D.C. youth detention facilities have been infected with the novel coronavirus, officials with the city’s Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services reported Tuesday.

The 17 cases included 10 residents and five staffers testing positive at the department’s Laurel, Md., facility and two staffers at its location in northeast D.C., WRC-TV (Channel 4) reported.

D.C. health officials are looking into whether the outbreak was the result of holiday visitations or if a staff member could have brought in the virus.

While the department has had coronavirus cases, with the death of a staffer due to the virus in the summer, city officials note this incident is the largest number of infections at one time.

“This morning we’re testing all of our staff at both facilities so we can gain a baseline,” said Dr. Roger Mitchell, the interim deputy mayor for public safety and justice, WRC reported.

He said residents are tested any time travel takes place between facilities.

As of Wednesday, the city has 28,758 coronavirus cases and 780 virus-related deaths, according to D.C. health department statistics. Of the total cases, 2,806, or roughly 10%, are among residents 18 or younger.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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