Nurse at Mecklenburg County Juvenile Detention Center tests positive for COVID-19

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MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. — A nurse at Mecklenburg County’s Juvenile Detention Center has tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office. 

MCSO said they contract with Wellpath, LLC to provide healthcare services to their residents at both their main Detention Center Central as well as their Juvenile Detention Center. 

“On Sunday, March 22, one of Wellpath’s nurses reported to work at the Juvenile Detention Center and passed through the standard screening which includes a temperature read as well as questions regarding potential symptoms and exposures related to COVID-19. 

This nurse had been on personal leave and she had not worked in the facility since March 3. Her temperature was less than 100.4 degrees, she indicated no symptoms or exposures, and the nurse entered the facility to begin work. 

However, less than 20 minutes later, the nurse reported differently and was sent home to self-quarantine. She was tested for COVID-19 the following day and has not been back to work since.”

Late Wednesday, MCSO said they learned that this nurse has tested positive for COVID-19.

Both the Mecklenburg County Health Department and MCSO have investigated whether this nurse may have exposed anyone else while at the Juvenile Detention Center on March 22. 

“Thankfully, she had not yet seen any patients and had briefly been in the presence of one other staff person – another Wellpath nurse. In an abundance of caution, that second Wellpath nurse – though she has shown no symptoms – has been quarantined and tested for COVID-19,” the MCSO said. 

Since the onset of the pandemic, Wellpath said they have isolated nine people with related symptoms and/or potential exposure to COVID-19. All of those cases were people being arrested and coming into the Arrest Processing Center at Detention Center Central (none at the Juvenile Detention Center), all have been tested for the virus, and of the seven test results returned to date, all have been negative. 

“No other MCSO staff or contractors have tested positive for COVID-19 and there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our detention population,” the MCSO said. 

MCSO continues to follow the CDC guidelines and said they are doing their best to prevent the introduction and spread of COVID-19 in their detention centers. 

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