The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice has extended until May 15 an order blocking visitors at juvenile facilities because of concerns about spreading the coronavirus.
The department first suspended visitation in March and said in a news release Wednesday that it “continues to assess the safety of its facilities and will restore visitation with modifications to the normal procedures” when it is safe.
“We are concentrating all our efforts on fighting the spread of the virus and keeping the youth and staff inside our facilities safe,” Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Simone Marstiller said in a prepared statement. “Visitation with family is an important part of a youth’s rehabilitation, and we look forward to restoring those visits in a safe and mindful way.”
The order includes exceptions for visitation by attorneys, educators and treatment providers.
The announcement came after the department said Monday that two additional youths in South Florida facilities had tested positive for COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus. That brought the total to six infected youths, along with 25 juvenile-justice workers.
The two new youth infections were at the Miami-Dade Regional Juvenile Detention Center and the Broward Youth Treatment Center. Four youths at the Miami Youth Academy tested positive earlier.
Republished with permission from the News Service of Florida.