OYA’s Coronavirus Response

Check here regularly for updates on OYA’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Updated: Oct. 12, 2021)

Related Links

OYA COVID-19 Dashboard and Other Info

COVID-19 Vaccines and OYA

COVID-19: Protecting Youth in OYA Facilities

COVID-19: Moving Youth to the Community


Oct. 12, 2021

OYA employees eligible for Pfizer booster vaccine

OYA employees who had the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine are now eligible for a booster because we are in the “high risk profession” category.

Booster shots are recommended, but not required for employment at this time. OYA employees, talk with your health provider about getting a booster if you are interested.

Hiring events – spread the word!

We are holding two group life coordinator hiring events in the next week to hire more people for MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility in Woodburn and Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility in Albany.

If you or someone you know might be interested, please check out or share these links. Both events will be held at the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) in Salem.

COVID cases at OYA

OYA staff currently out positive with COVID-19: 7

  • 1 at MacLaren
  • 2 at Tillamook YCF
  • 1 at Oak Creek
  • 1 at Central Office
  • 2 at field offices

OYA youth currently positive with COVID-19 and in medical isolation: 2 (both living at home)

Youth in quarantine: 0

Facilities where in-person visiting is suspended, with potential exceptions for youth who are fully vaccinated: Eastern Oregon, MacLaren, Oak Creek, Camp Riverbend


Oct. 1, 2021

COVID Cases at OYA

Youth who have COVID-19: 0 in OYA facilities, 3 in the community

Youth in quarantine: One living unit at MacLaren, one living unit at Oak Creek, one residential program

Staff who have COVID: 14

  • 4 at MacLaren
  • 2 at Tillamook YCF
  • 5 at Oak Creek
  • 3 at OYA field offices

Sept. 27, 2021

Office Reopening Moved to January

The Department of Administrative Services announced last week that the new reopening date for state offices will be Jan. 1, 2022.

Look for more info in the coming months about OYA’s plans for reopening the field offices and central office to the public.

COVID Cases at OYA

  • Eastern Oregon Youth Correctional Facility: One staff member has tested positive and is currently out of the workplace. No youth currently have COVID and none are in quarantine.
    • In-person visiting is suspended, with potential exceptions on a case-by-case basis for youth who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility: Six employees have tested positive and are out of the workplace. No youth currently have COVID and none are in quarantine.
    • In-person visiting is suspended, with potential exceptions on a case-by-case basis for youth who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility: Five staff have tested positive and are out of the workplace. One living unit is in quarantine.
    • In-person visiting is suspended, with potential exceptions on a case-by-case basis for youth who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Camp Riverbend: There are zero current cases among staff or youth, but the facility is in quarantine.
    • In-person visiting is suspended, with potential exceptions on a case-by-case basis for youth who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility: There are zero current cases among staff or youth, and no one is in quarantine.
    • In-person visiting is suspended, with potential exceptions on a case-by-case basis for youth who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Tillamook Youth Correctional Facility: Tillamook’s outbreak is officially over and in-person visiting has started again. However, two staff members remain out of the workplace due to COVID.
  • Youth in the community: One youth living at home and one at a residential program are currently positive. The other youth in the residential program are in quarantine. Their families and juvenile parole/probation officers have been notified.
  • Office staff: Three staff members at three different field offices are currently positive and out of the workplace. None of these staff had contact with youth while contagious.

Sept. 15, 2021

COVID cases among OYA youth and staff

  • Eastern Oregon Youth Correctional Facility: No current positive cases!
    • In-person visiting remains suspended, with potential exceptions on a case-by-case basis for youth who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility: Five staff and one contractor have tested positive and are out of the workplace. No youth currently have COVID. Two living units are still on quarantine.
    • In-person visiting remains suspended, with potential exceptions on a case-by-case basis for youth who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility: One staff has tested positive and they are out of the workplace. One living unit is on quarantine.
    • In-person visiting is suspended for the quarantined unit, with potential exceptions on a case-by-case basis for youth who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Camp Riverbend: Three staff have tested positive and they are out of the workplace. Five youth are positive and are in medical isolation. Ten Riverbend youth are on quarantine.
    • Visiting is suspended for this weekend, Sept. 18-19.
  • Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility: Eight youth are positive and are in medical isolation. Two living units are on quarantine. Three staff members are currently positive and out of the workplace.
    • All visiting is currently suspended until further notice.
  • Tillamook Youth Correctional Facility: Three staff are currently positive and out of the workplace.
    • In-person visiting remains suspended, with potential exceptions on a case-by-case basis for youth who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Camp Tillamook: One staff has tested positive and is out of the workplace. They did not have close contact with youth or other staff while contagious.
  • Young Women’s Transition Program: One staff member has tested positive and they are out of the workplace. YWTP youth are quarantining.
    • In-person visiting is suspended, with potential exceptions on a case-by-case basis for youth who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Youth in the community: Three youth in the community are currently positive. One who lives at a residential program and two live at home. The families and juvenile parole/probation officers of all these youth have been notified.
  • Office staff: Two staff members at two different field offices and one at Central Office are currently positive and out of the workplace. None of these staff had contact with youth while contagious.

Sept. 7, 2021

COVID Update

COVID outbreaks continue around the state. Oregon school districts have now begun the 2021-22 school year as most students return to in-person learning.

Governor Brown and the Oregon Department of Education released new recommendations today to help keep students, families, and staff safe from the virus.

Oregon COVID hospitalizations are hitting all-time highs. The New York Times reports just 50 I.C.U. beds are available in the entire state.

Keep yourself and others safe by wearing your mask properly, maintaining six feet of distance, and getting vaccinated if you haven’t already. More than 72% of Oregon adults have already had at least one COVID shot.

You can find a place to get vaccinated here: getvaccinated.oregon.gov. Unlike earlier in the pandemic, vaccines are now widely available and there are same day appointments or walk-in clinics in many areas of the state.

COVID Cases among OYA Youth and Staff

  • Eastern Oregon Youth Correctional Facility: Eastern Oregon YCF positive cases have recovered and visiting will resume soon.
    • In-person visiting remains suspended, with potential exceptions on a case-by-case basis for youth who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility: Eleven staff and one contractor have tested positive and are out of the workplace. Six youth are positive with the virus and are in medical isolation. Five living units are on quarantine.
    • In-person visiting remains suspended, with potential exceptions on a case-by-case basis for youth who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Camp Riverbend: Three staff have tested positive and they are out of the workplace. Nine youth have tested positive and are in medical isolation. All Riverbend youth are on quarantine.
    • Riverbend is canceling all in-person visitation for this weekend, Sept. 11-12.
  • Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility: Eleven youth have tested positive and are in medical isolation. All living units are on quarantine. Four staff members are currently positive and out of the workplace.
    • All visiting is currently suspended until further notice.
  • Tillamook Youth Correctional Facility: Three staff are currently positive and out of the workplace. Two living units are on quarantine.
    • In-person visiting remains suspended, with potential exceptions on a case-by-case basis for youth who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Camp Tillamook: One staff has tested positive and is out of the workplace. They did not have close contact with youth or other staff while contagious.
  • Young Women’s Transition Program: One staff member has tested positive and they are out of the workplace. YWTP youth are quarantining.
    • In-person visiting is suspended, with potential exceptions on a case-by-case basis for youth who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Youth in the community: Seven youth in the community are currently positive. Six are at a residential program and one who lives at home. The youth at the programs are in medical isolation. The families and juvenile parole/probation officers of all these youth have been notified.
  • Office staff: Two staff members at two different field offices are currently positive and out of the workplace. Neither staff had contact with youth while contagious.

Aug. 31, 2021 (Riverbend info updated 9/1/21)

COVID Cases Among OYA Youth and Staff

  • MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility: Five staff have tested positive and are out of the workplace. Thirteen youth have tested positive for the virus and are in medical isolation. Four living units are on quarantine.
    • In-person visiting remains suspended, with potential exceptions on a case-by-case basis for youth who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Tillamook Youth Correctional Facility: Six staff are currently positive and out of the workplace. Two living units are on quarantine.
    • In-person visiting remains suspended, with potential exceptions on a case-by-case basis for youth who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Camp Riverbend: Two staff have tested positive and they are out of the workplace. Riverbend youth are on quarantine.
    • Update, 9/1/21: In-person visiting is suspended, with potential exceptions on a case-by-case basis for youth who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility: Three youth have tested positive and are in medical isolation. One unit is on quarantine. Two staff members are currently positive and out of the workplace.
    • All visiting is currently suspended at Rogue Valley until further notice.
  • Eastern Oregon Youth Correctional Facility: Eastern Oregon has zero cases but remains on baseline status.
    • In-person visiting remains suspended, with potential exceptions on a case-by-case basis for youth who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Youth in the community: Eight youth in the community are currently positive: six at a residential program, one at a different residential program, and one who lives at home. The youth at the programs are in medical isolation. The families and juvenile parole/probation officers of all these youth have been notified.
  • Office Staff: Three staff members at three different field offices are currently positive and out of the workplace. One Central Office staff is positive and out of the workplace. None of these staff had contact with youth while contagious.

Aug. 26, 2021

Limits to Site Visits

With the resurgence of COVID-19 and the Delta variant, site visits are once again limited except for essential work. If OYA employees are planning to visit a facility or office that is not their designated work site, we ask that they delay or postpone these visits if they are not essential or time sensitive until further notice.

This is important to protect the health and safety of youth and everyone at our agency.

COVID Cases Among OYA Youth and Staff

  • MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility: Five staff have tested positive and are out of the workplace. Ten youth have tested positive for the virus and are in medical isolation. Five living units are on quarantine. In-person visiting remains suspended, with potential exceptions on a case-by-case basis for youth who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Tillamook Youth Correctional Facility: One youth is positive and in medical isolation and five staff are currently positive and out of the workplace. Two living units are on quarantine. The facility has suspended in-person visitation for all youth.
  • Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility: Two staff members are currently positive and out of the workplace.
  • Eastern Oregon Youth Correctional Facility: Three staff members are currently positive and out of the workplace. Two living units are on quarantine. In-person visiting remains suspended, with potential exceptions on a case-by-case basis for youth who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Community residential program: Six youth tested positive last week at a community residential program and are in medical isolation. The rest of the youth are quarantining. The families and juvenile parole/probation officers of youth at this program have been notified.
  • Central Office: Two staff members are currently positive and out of the workplace.
  • Field Offices: Two staff members from two different field offices are currently positive and out of the workplace.

Aug. 25, 2021

COVID-19 cases continue to surge across the state, putting all Oregonians at risk. The Delta variant is much more contagious than the original COVID strain. Public health officials are finding clusters of cases contracted at outdoor events, which is part of what led to a new outdoor mask mandate.

In this recent KOIN 6 news report about overflowing hospitals and emergency rooms, Virginia Smith, a registered nurse in Oregon City and board member of the Oregon Nurses’ Association, cautioned all Oregonians to avoid risks so that they didn’t need to go to the hospital. “There [are] only so many patients you can take care of all at once. I keep telling my whole family: ‘No ladders, no chainsaws,’” she said.

What you can do:

  • Get vaccinated if you haven’t already (all state workers must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18).
  • Wear your mask properly, both indoors and outdoors, whenever you are around others not in your household.
  • Maintain physical distance of at least 6 feet whenever possible.
  • If you have symptoms of illness, stay home and away from other people.

Protections now in place

  • Face coverings are now required in all outdoor spaces where people from different households get together and are unable to maintain physical distance, with limited exceptions. OYA will enforce this requirement of staff while outside during worktime beginning immediately.
  • State workers must be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 18. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) fully approved the Pfizer vaccine on Monday for everyone 12 years and older.
  • State offices remain closed to the public and reopening plans are on hold.

COVID cases among OYA Youth and Staff

  • MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility: Five staff have tested positive and are out of the workplace. Ten youth have tested positive for the virus and are in medical isolation. Five living units are on quarantine. In-person visiting remains suspended, with potential exceptions on a case-by-case basis for youth who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Tillamook Youth Correctional Facility: One youth is positive and in medical isolation and five staff are currently positive and out of the workplace. Two living units are on quarantine. The facility has suspended in-person visitation for all youth.
  • Young Women’s Transition Program: One staff person at this program is still out of the workplace due to testing positive.
  • Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility: Two staff members are currently positive and out of the workplace.
  • Eastern Oregon Youth Correctional Facility: Three staff members are currently positive and out of the workplace. Two living units are on quarantine. In-person visiting remains suspended, with potential exceptions on a case-by-case basis for youth who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Community residential program: Six youth tested positive last week at a community residential program and are in medical isolation. The rest of the youth are quarantining. The families and juvenile parole/probation officers of youth at this program have been notified.
  • Central Office: Two staff members are currently positive and out of the workplace.
  • Field Offices: Two staff members from two different field offices are currently positive and out of the workplace.

Aug. 20, 2021

Five Youth at MacLaren Test Positive

Since our last update, five youth from the same living unit at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility have tested positive for COVID-19.

One additional staff person has also tested positive, for a total of six MacLaren staff currently out of the workplace due to having COVID-19.

All five youth are in medical isolation and their families have been notified. Their living unit was already in quarantine. A total of six living units at MacLaren are currently quarantining.

In-person visiting remains suspended, with potential exceptions on a case-by-case basis for youth who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

More Youth Test Positive at Residential Program

An outbreak at one of OYA’s contracted community residential programs includes six youth who have tested positive for the virus and are in medical isolation.

Several staff at the program have also tested positive. The families and juvenile parole/probation officers of youth at this program have been notified.

The entire program is in quarantine and has suspended visitation.

Other Cases at OYA

  • Young Women’s Transition Program: One staff person at this program tested positive this week. They did not have close contact with youth during the time when they were contagious.
  • Tillamook Youth Correctional Facility: One youth and seven staff are currently positive. The facility has suspended in-person visitation for all youth.
  • Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility: One staff member is currently positive and out of the workplace.
  • Eastern Oregon Youth Correctional Facility: Three staff members are currently positive and out of the workplace. In-person visiting remains suspended, with potential exceptions on a case-by-case basis for youth who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Central Office: Two staff members are currently positive and out of the workplace.
  • Linn County Field Office: One staff member is currently positive and is out of the workplace.

Vaccines Prevent Hospitalization and Death

It’s true that the Delta variant has infected many people who are vaccinated against COVID-19.

However, when vaccinated people get the virus, they are much less likely to get severely ill, be hospitalized, or die.

Yesterday, Marion County released this graphic to put things into perspective. And this only shows Marion County — statewide, the number of hospitalizations is much higher. Find a vaccination site

Why Get Vaccinated? Perspectives from Youth

We asked several youth at Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility why they chose to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Here are some of their responses.

“Coronavirus has taken enough of our time as [it] is. If we can do anything to help life get back to normal, then we should.”

“The people of America have been getting vaccinated for decades. The same superstition orbited the chicken pox and polio vaccine. It’s up to [everyone] to help prevent or mitigate the damage of plagues in this country or the world.”

“I got vaccinated to prevent the virus from doing damage to my body. If I am to carry the virus, it won’t have the same chances of being fatal.”

“Because I don’t want to get sick and I want to be able to see my family.”

“At first, I was highly indecisive about taking the COVID vaccination. But after the major heart surgery my mom’s husband went through and then considering the potential risk he was in, I knew I had to get the shot in order to protect him, my family, and everyone I came into contact with. I figure if I protect myself then I am protecting those I come in contact with each day. So if you won’t do it for yourself, get vaccinated for those you care about!”


Aug. 18, 2021

The Delta variant continues to spread rapidly in Oregon, with nearly 900 Oregonians hospitalized with COVID this week and record setting case numbers. This dramatic increase in cases is also affecting many of our facilities.

Please continue to mask up and stay safe. The best tools we have to protect youth and staff from this virus are to get vaccinated, wear masks, and maintain a physical distance of six feet whenever possible.

We send our best wishes and healing thoughts to the youth and OYA staff who have been infected with COVID-19.

Vaccines

Last week Governor Brown announced that all state employees will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 18 or six weeks after full FDA approval, whichever is latest. Details are still being determined. The Department of Administrative Services (DAS) has released a high-level FAQ which you can view here.

This requirement may include contractors who work side by side with OYA staff in our facilities, which would include medical providers, teachers, and other school staff. More details to come.

Vaccines continue to be the most effective way to prevent infection and serious symptoms of COVID-19. Learn more about getting vaccinated / find a location at the link below.

If you are vaccinated, you are much less likely to get COVID-19 at all (this is still true for the Delta variant) and much less likely to get severely ill, be hospitalized, or die from COVID-19.

Update on COVID-19 Cases at OYA

  • MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility: Five staff are currently positive and six living units are on quarantine. No youth are currently positive. In-person visits for families are still suspended. Exceptions may be made for youth who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Tillamook Youth Correctional Facility: Eight staff members and two youth at Tillamook YCF are currently positive. The youth are in medical isolation. All living units are on quarantine. In-person visits for families are currently suspended at Tillamook YCF for all youth, regardless of their vaccination status.
  • Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility: Two staff members are out after testing positive. They were not at the facility during the time when they were contagious.
  • Eastern Youth Correctional Facility: Two staff members are out after testing positive. All living units at Eastern are quarantining. In-person visits for families are suspended. Exceptions may be made for youth who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Community Residential Program: One youth tested positive at a community residential program. All youth are on quarantine and visits have been suspended. The families and juvenile parole/probation officers for youth at this program have been notified.
  • Central Office: Two staff tested positive. They did not have any close contact with youth. Staff who had close contact were notified.
  • Linn County Field Office: One staff tested positive and is out of the workplace. People who had close contact with them were notified.

Office Reopening

Statewide office reopening to the public has been delayed and will no longer happen on Sept. 1 as planned. Central Office and our field offices remain at pandemic status quo and closed to the public. More details to come.


Aug. 13, 2021

Weekend Visiting Cancelled at Tillamook YCF

Visiting is cancelled this weekend, Aug. 14-15, at Tillamook Youth Correctional Facility due to a COVID-19 outbreak. This does not impact Camp Tillamook.

Currently, 10 youth are in medical isolation at Tillamook YCF due to testing positive for the virus. Their families have been notified.

Additionally, six staff are out of the workplace due to testing positive. Our positive thoughts go out to all of them with best wishes for a quick recovery.

If you have questions about your youth at this facility, contact their case coordinator.


Aug. 11, 2021

More Oregonians are hospitalized for COVID-19 now than any other time in the pandemic so far, as people are getting sick across the state and the Delta variant spreads rapidly.

Remember chicken pox? COVID is now just as contagious. Please send your best wishes and healing thoughts to the youth and OYA staff who have been infected with COVID-19, including several staff who are currently hospitalized.

New and Returning Restrictions

Restrictions announced by Governor Brown this week include:

  • All state workers will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit documentation to OYA, likely by Oct. 18. More details to come.

Starting Friday, Aug. 13, masks are once again required in all indoor businesses across the state for all people older than 5. On public transit, this also includes children older than 2. Learn more.

Vaccines

Vaccines continue to be the most effective way to prevent infection and serious symptoms of COVID-19.

If you are vaccinated, you are much less likely to get COVID-19 at all (this is still true for the Delta variant) and much less likely to get severely ill, be hospitalized, or die from COVID-19.

Physical Distancing Required at all OYA Locations

Effective today, OYA will be following the six-foot rule in our offices again. This will also limit the number of people allowed in conference rooms and shared spaces. Physical distancing rules remain in effect at our facilities.

Physical distancing is an important way to prevent spread of the virus. Additionally, if you are in a room with someone who later tests positive, it’s much less likely that you’ll need to quarantine if you stayed six feet apart and wore your face covering.

As a reminder, face coverings are also required inside all our offices and facilities, unless you’re alone in a room with a closed door, or outside and at least six feet away from others.

Update on COVID-19 Cases at OYA

  • MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility: One staff member is currently positive with the virus, and two living units are still in quarantine. In-person visits for families are still suspended, except for youth who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Tillamook Facilities: Six staff members and five youth at Tillamook Youth Correctional Facility have tested positive. Ten youth are quarantining. In-person visits for families are suspended at Tillamook YCF, except for youth who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility: Two staff members are out after testing positive. They were not at the facility during the time when they were contagious.
  • Central Office: Two team members are currently out of the workplace after testing positive.
  • One youth at a residential program has tested positive and five are in quarantine at the same program. The youths’ families and juvenile parole/probation officers (JPPOs) have been notified.

Aug. 4, 2021

Governor Announces New Rules for Healthcare Workers

Governor Brown announced today that people working in health care settings will need to get tested for COVID-19 weekly unless they can show proof of vaccination. This new rule goes into effect Sept. 30.

At this time, the rule does not apply to OYA employees, or anyone working for the state.

However, it does apply to health care contractors who work in OYA facilities and have direct or indirect contact with patients or infectious materials. Those contractors’ employers, not OYA, will be responsible for ensuring the rule is followed.

Update on COVID-19 Cases at MacLaren and Tillamook

  • MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility: Five staff members, one contractor, and six youth are currently positive with the virus. The youth are still in medical isolation. Four living units are still in quarantine. In-person visits for families are still suspended at MacLaren YCF, except for youth who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Tillamook Facilities: Eight staff members and four youth at Tillamook Youth Correctional Facility are currently positive. Additionally, one staff member at Camp Tillamook has tested positive. In-person visits for families are suspended at Tillamook YCF, except for youth who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Other COVID-19 Cases at OYA

  • Central Office: Two team members are currently out of the workplace after testing positive.
  • Three youth at a residential program are in precautionary quarantine after one of them had close contact with someone in the community who tested positive for the virus. The youths’ families and juvenile parole/probation officers (JPPOs) have been notified.
  • Four youth at a different residential program are in quarantine due to being in contact with a staff member at the program who tested positive. The youths’ families and JPPOs have been notified.

July 30, 2021

Masks Required Again in State Offices

Starting today, the Department of Administrative Services is requiring face coverings again for employees and guests inside all state offices.

This applies to Central Office and OYA’s field offices for everyone, regardless of their vaccination status. Face coverings are also required in OYA facilities — this rule has not changed since June 2020.

The only exceptions are when you are eating or drinking, you are alone in a room with a closed door, or you are outside and at least six feet away from others.

Anyone traveling with someone else in a state vehicle is also required to wear a face covering.

Managers have been instructed to enforce strict compliance with the masking requirement in all OYA settings.

More COVID-19 Cases at MacLaren and Tillamook

One more youth and several staff at MacLaren tested positive for COVID-19 since our last update. This brings the total number of current cases at MacLaren to six youth and six staff and contractors.

Additionally, four youth have tested positive for the virus at Tillamook Youth Correctional Facility. Two staff members at Tillamook YCF are also currently positive for the virus.

As a result of these cases, four living units at MacLaren and one at Tillamook YCF are in quarantine. All the youth who tested positive are in medical isolation.

All of the families of the affected youth have been notified. At MacLaren, in-person visits for families are temporarily suspended, unless the youth has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Other COVID-19 Cases at OYA

  • Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility: Nothing has changed since our last update. Two staff members are still out of the workplace due to testing positive for the virus.
  • Multnomah County Field Office: One staff member is still out of the workplace due to testing positive.
  • Four youth at a residential program are quarantining due to being in close contact with program staff who tested positive for the virus.

July 27, 2021 (updated 5:45 p.m.)

New COVID-19 Cases at MacLaren Cause Visiting Changes

Five youth from the same living unit at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility tested positive for COVID-19 over the last few days. The entire living unit is in quarantine. The families of youth from this unit have been notified.

Additionally, there are currently three positive cases of the virus among people who work at MacLaren. All three people are out of the workplace now.

A total of three living units are now in quarantine in relation to these new cases.

Unfortunately, these new cases mean that MacLaren needs to temporarily suspend in-person visits for youth who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This is for the safety of the youth, their families, and our staff.

However, Oregon Health Authority has advised us that it is safe for youth who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to continue having in-person visits. This is only if the youth are not in medical isolation due to testing positive for COVID-19. There also may also be situations where they may not have visits due to being in close contact with someone who tested positive.

We know that cancelling visits is difficult for the youth and their families, which is why we don’t make these decisions lightly. We are following health officials’ recommendations to prevent further spread of the virus and try to keep everyone safe.

If you have questions about these changes or whether your youth can still have visitors, contact their case coordinator.

COVID-19 Update for Other Facilities and Programs

  • Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility: Two staff members at this facility recently tested positive for COVID-19. Both of them are out of the workplace. There was no close contact with youth in either case. As a result, no youth are in quarantine.
  • Multnomah County Field Office: One staff member in our Multnomah field office has tested positive for the virus. They did not have close contact with any youth during the time they were contagious.
  • Tillamook Youth Correctional Facility: One staff member at this facility has reported testing positive for the virus. Four youth are being quarantined as a precaution. These youths’ families have been notified.
  • Four youth at a residential program are quarantining due to being in close contact with program staff who tested positive for the virus.

July 9, 2021

New FAQ

With the lifting of the remaining COVID-19 health and safety restrictions for Oregon, we are entering a new phase in COVID-19 safety protocols. To help know what the lifting of restrictions means, including what has changed and what has not, a FAQ has been created:

There are no changes to correctional and health care settings; they still require face coverings. This includes OYA youth correctional and transitional facilities.

Our residential providers and foster homes are navigating complex COVID-19 guidance. Families who have questions about restrictions in these environments should reach out to the provider.

It is important to remember that COVID-19 remains in our communities and continues to threaten the health of Oregonians. Many people are still at risk of the virus or are unable to be vaccinated due to their younger age or health status.

Please remember that the COVID-19 vaccine is still one of the best ways to protect yourself and those around you from the virus. Also, some people may choose to continue wearing face coverings, and it’s important to remain respectful about their personal choices. Face coverings are still strongly recommended for those who are not vaccinated or who are immune-compromised.

Update on COVID-19 Cases at OYA

  • Eastern Oregon Youth Correctional Facility has moved from baseline status, into Phase I as of July 7, and can now allow in-person visitation.
  • We currently have zero positive cases of the virus among staff.
  • We currently have two positive cases of youth in a residential program. Families have been notified and we have notified all OYA employees who had close contact with these cases.

June 30, 2021

Oregon’s Reopening: What it Means for OYA

Today, Governor Brown lifted most of the remaining COVID-19 health and safety restrictions for Oregon.

Despite this, it’s important to remember that COVID-19 remains in our communities and continues to threaten the health of Oregonians. Many people are still at risk of the virus or are unable to be vaccinated due to their younger age or health status.

Please remember that the COVID-19 vaccine is still one of the best ways to protect yourself and those around you from the virus. Also, some people may choose to continue wearing face coverings, and it’s important to remain respectful about their personal choices.

We will continue to give you updates when we learn more about what the reopening means for OYA, but here’s what we know today:

OYA Facilities

Correctional facilities and health care settings still require face coverings and physical distancing, in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control.

That means face coverings are still required inside OYA’s correctional and transitional facilities for all staff, contractors, volunteers, and visitors.

OYA Field Offices and Central Office

All state agency offices, including OYA’s field and central offices, no longer require face coverings for people who are vaccinated against COVID-19.

Face coverings are still strongly recommended for those who are not vaccinated or who are immuno-compromised. People will not be required to show proof of their vaccination status. (Read the guidance from Oregon Health Authority)

All state agency offices remain closed to the public until Sept. 1. In-person meetings between staff and the public should be by appointment only as much as possible.

Community Placements

Our residential providers and foster homes are navigating complex COVID-19 guidance. Families who have questions about restrictions in these environments should reach out to the provider.

Teleworking

At this time, the Department of Administrative Services says that state agencies should continue having employees telework or work at home as much as possible. This guidance is in place until Sept. 1.

Get Vaccinated, Earn $100

The Public Employees’ Benefit Board (PEBB) is giving PEBB-eligible state employees the chance to add an extra $100 to their gross pay.

To earn the $100, all you need to do is get at least one COVID-1 vaccine by the end of July.


June 28, 2021

Masks Still Required in Correctional Settings

Governor Brown announced today that she is lifting all COVID-19 restrictions statewide starting June 30, or when 70% of Oregonians have received at least a first dose of the vaccine, whichever comes first.

Once that happens, the statewide mask mandate and the county risk level system will no longer be in place. Among other things, this means the required restrictions will be lifted relating to physical distancing, capacity limits, and closing times for businesses.

Please note that correctional and health care settings still require face coverings. This includes OYA youth correctional and transitional facilities.

Oregon Health Authority has advised us to continue following Centers for Disease Control guidelines for correctional settings at this time.

The lifting of restrictions will apply in other OYA settings, including our field offices and Central Office.

Our residential providers and foster homes are navigating complex COVID-19 guidance. Families who have questions about restrictions in these environments should reach out to the provider.

Face coverings are still strongly recommended for those who are not vaccinated or who are immune-compromised.

Update on COVID-19 Cases at OYA

  • Eastern Oregon Youth Correctional Facility is no longer in quarantine. However, they are still in baseline status until July 5 due to the recent outbreak. This includes no in-person visitation.
  • We currently have zero positive cases of the virus among youth.
  • One staff member at Central Office and one at a field office notified us this week that they tested positive. We have notified all OYA employees who had close contact with these cases.

June 17, 2021

Masks Still Required in Correctional Settings

You may have seen the email from Department of Administrative Services about Oregon lifting most COVID-19 safety restrictions once 70% of Oregonians 18 and older have received a first dose of the vaccine. Health officials expect this to happen within the next 1-2 weeks.

Please note that correctional and health care settings will still require face coverings. This includes OYA youth correctional and transitional facilities.

Outside of those settings, employees and members of the public in state government offices, including our field offices and Central Office, will no longer be required to wear face coverings once the 70% vaccination goal is met.

However, face coverings are still strongly recommended for those who are not vaccinated or who are immune-compromised.

For our youth in the community, OYA works with a wide variety of settings from individual foster homes to multi-unit residential programs. These providers are navigating a complex set of COVID-19 guidance.  To understand the mask requirements at any specific provider, we suggest families reach out to the provider directly.

Update on COVID-19 Cases at OYA

Reminder About COVID Vaccine Cash Prizes

Cash prizes ranging from $10,000 to $1 million are available for Oregonians who have received at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by June 27.

Everyone age 18 or older who gets their first dose by that date is automatically entered into a drawing for cash prizes. This includes youth in OYA custody. The drawing takes place on June 28.

For individuals age 12 to 17, including OYA youth, the prize will be in the form of a college scholarship. The scholarship will be placed in an Oregon College Savings Plan with the Oregon Treasurer’s office.


June 2, 2021

Home Visits for Vaccinated Youth in Community

OYA, in consultation with the Oregon Health Authority, has determined that fully vaccinated youth in community programs and foster care homes are eligible for home visits. They are eligible 14 days after their final vaccine dose.

This change is based on recent findings that vaccinated youth are not likely to catch COVID-19 and are also not likely to carry the virus into new environments.

If you are interested in setting up a home visit with your youth, contact their residential program or juvenile parole/probation officer.

Get Your Vaccine, Be Entered to Win Cash and Scholarships

Governor Kate Brown recently announced cash prizes ranging from $10,000 to $1 million for Oregonians who have received at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by June 27.

Everyone age 18 and older who gets their first dose by that date is automatically entered into a drawing for the cash prizes. This includes youth in OYA custody. The drawing will take place June 28.

For young people age 12 to 17, the prize will be in the form of a college scholarship. The scholarship will be placed in an Oregon College Savings Plan with the Oregon Treasurer’s office. OYA youth are also eligible for these scholarships.


June 3, 2021

MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility Reopens Visitation

MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility will be able to have in-person visitation again starting this weekend.

There are currently no positive cases of COVID-19 among youth or staff at MacLaren.

To schedule a visit, families should contact their youth’s case coordinator or living unit manager.

Visits will have the same COVID-19 precautions as before:

  • When visitors arrive, they will need to do a temperature check and a self-screening for COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Face coverings will be required at all times for youth and visitors.
  • Visits will happen in the Visitation Center only, with a clear barrier between youth and visitors.

Update on COVID-19 Cases at OYA

  • One staff member at Eastern Oregon Youth Correctional Facility recently tested positive for COVID-19. The entire facility is quarantining as a precaution.
  • One youth living at home in Clackamas County reported testing positive last week. They are quarantining at home.
  • A staff member at the Central Office has tested positive for COVID-19. They were not in contact with other employees.

Hiring Extravaganza: Help Spread the Word

OYA Human Resources, Facility Services and Development Services are partnering to host a Group Life Coordinator Hiring Extravaganza on June 12 at the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training in Salem.

Attendees can learn about Oregon Youth Authority, apply, interview, and do their physical abilities testing all in one day!

The goal of this event is to quickly hire a large number of GLCs for MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility. There are opportunities for full-time, part-time, temporary and permanent positions for people ages 21+. People of color and those who identify as LGBTQ+ are especially encouraged to apply.

If you know anyone who might be interested in working with our young people at MacLaren, please share this event link: bit.ly/oyahires.

Thanks for your help in getting the word out!


May 19, 2021

No Changes to Mask Guidance for OYA Staff: They’re Still Required at Work

The Department of Administrative Services (DAS) informed us today that the state will continue requiring employees to wear face coverings in all state-owned or state-leased buildings, until further notice.

This means that all OYA employees, regardless of their work site or vaccination status, must continue to wear a face covering while on the job. The only exceptions are if they are working outside at least six feet away from others, or they’re working alone in an enclosed office with the door closed.

Visitors to our facilities and offices are also still required to wear face coverings and stay physically distant from others as much as possible.

Update on COVID Cases at MacLaren

Two living units are still in quarantine at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility due to staff or youth cases of COVID-19.

The facility still has one youth who tested positive for the virus and is in medical isolation, plus one current positive case among staff.

MacLaren remains in baseline status until at least June 3, which means no in-person visits from families or volunteers.


May 6, 2021

Update on COVID Cases at MacLaren

Currently, five living units are in quarantine at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility due to staff or youth cases of COVID-19.

The one youth who tested positive last week is still in medical isolation. There are also four current positive cases of the virus among OYA staff, including a new one we learned about today.

MacLaren remains in baseline status until at least June 1, which means no in-person visits from families or volunteers.


May 5, 2021

Multiple Cases at MacLaren, Visiting Canceled for Rest of May

As of Wednesday morning, four living units at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility are in quarantine due to staff or youth cases of COVID-19.

One youth tested positive late Tuesday and is now in medical isolation. Their living unit is in quarantine. The families of these youth have been notified.

The other three living units in quarantine are related to two staff members who reported testing positive for the virus. The family members of youth in these units have also been notified.

Due to the new cases, MacLaren has to extend its baseline status until at least June 1, which means no in-person visits from families or volunteers.

Families are still encouraged to schedule video visits or phone calls with their youth. These can be scheduled through their youth’s case coordinator.


May 4, 2021

Oak Creek Employee Tests Positive for Virus

This week, an employee at Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility reported that they tested positive for COVID-19. They were not at the facility during the time they were contagious.

Currently, there are zero cases of the virus among OYA youth. Among staff, there is still one active case with a staff member at MacLaren.


April 29, 2021

Four Facilities Under New Restrictions

Four OYA facilities are under new COVID restrictions starting Friday, April 30, due to their counties moving into the “extreme risk” category.

The facilities with new restrictions are MacLaren (Marion County), Oak Creek and Young Women’s Transition Program (Linn County), Camp Florence (Lane County), and Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility (Josephine County).

Oak Creek, YWTP, Florence and Rogue Valley will start following these guidelines:

  • A barrier must be between families and youth during their visits.
  • Physical contact is not allowed during youth and family visits.
  • Only religious- and treatment-related volunteers may visit in person.
  • Group sizes will be limited when youth are gathering from different living units.

MacLaren is following even stricter guidelines until at least May 8, due to recent cases of COVID-19 among their staff. Currently, in-person visitation at MacLaren is completely canceled, no volunteers may visit in person, and youth may not mix with other living units.


April 26, 2021

MacLaren Visitation Suspended: Message from the Superintendent

Dear Families,

I am sorry to have to share the news that MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility needs to cancel in-person visitation from today through at least May 8, due to COVID-19 cases among our staff.

In the past week, we learned of three staff members who tested positive for COVID-19. Two of them had no contact with youth, but the third case led us to put one living unit in quarantine.

I know this is hard for you and for our youth, so we don’t make these decisions lightly. However, we need to follow the health and safety guidelines given to us by the Oregon Health Authority. We want to make sure that we keep all the youth in our care safe and healthy.

In the meantime, we encourage you to continue scheduling video visits with your youth by reaching out to their case coordinator.

Sincerely,

Dan Berger, MacLaren superintendent

Other COVID Cases at OYA

Currently, there are no active cases of COVID-19 among our youth.

Last week, someone who works at Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility tested positive for the virus, but they did not have close contact with youth.

The COVID-19 Vaccine: Information for Latino Youth and Families

We know that some of you may not trust the vaccine. That is understandable, especially given the history of the U.S. government causing medical harm to people of color.

Here is some information and perspectives from others in the Latino community to help you make your own choice about whether to get the vaccine.

Why the Vaccine is Important

Latino, Black, and Indigenous people are getting COVID-19 way more often than white people. Also, they are having much more severe illness and many more deaths.

This is happening partly because of a history of racism that has made it harder for many Latinos to get good health care or to follow COVID safety guidelines. Many Latinos, including farmworkers, have had to continue working on the front lines during the pandemic.

Many Latinos also have medical conditions that put them at higher risk of getting COVID, including asthma or diabetes. It’s impossible to know how sick you or your family might be if you get COVID-19. Getting the vaccine is a safer choice than taking your chances with getting the virus. Click here to read more


April 16, 2021

One Youth in Community Tests Positive

This week we learned about an OYA youth living at home in Multnomah County who tested positive for COVID-19. The youth is quarantining at home. They were not in close contact with other OYA youth or staff.

To see our dashboard of COVID cases at OYA, visit our COVID-19 Updates website.


April 14, 2021

No Current COVID-19 Cases

We are happy to report that none of our staff or youth are currently positive for the virus. This has been the case for the past several weeks.

Vaccine Eligibility Opens to All Age 16 and Older

Starting Monday, April 19, eligibility for COVID-19 vaccines is opening to all Oregonians age 16 and older. Last week, the state passed the threshold of 2 million vaccine doses administered.

Still wondering whether you should get the vaccine? We have several fact sheets we made for our youth and their families. These also might be helpful to inform your decision:

Vaccines Continuing for OYA Youth

Youth in the community: A joint vaccination effort between OYA, Oregon Department of Human Services, and Oregon Health Authority is underway to reach youth in congregate community settings. This started last week with about 400 vaccines going to OYA youth, child welfare youth, and those in care for developmental disabilities.

Youth in OYA facilities: Health Services finished giving second doses of the Moderna vaccine a few weeks ago to youth age 18 and older. Youth ages 16 and 17 in our facilities have started getting their first doses of the Pfizer vaccine from Safeway Pharmacy.

Youth in facilities still have the opportunity to get the vaccine, even if they passed on it the first time. Are facility clinics are collecting names of interested youth and will vaccinate those youth once they have enough people to open a new vial of vaccine.

Update on Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

You may have heard this week that the Centers for Disease Control recommended pausing use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in response to news that six women who had received it developed a severe and rare type of blood clot.

OYA did receive doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine from OHA, but we have not used any yet. As directed by the CDC and OHA, we will be holding those vaccines for now.

It’s important to note that the blood clot issue only impacted six people out of nearly 7 million Americans who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine so far. However, health officials announced the pause just to be extra cautious until the six cases have been reviewed more closely.

If you already received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and have questions about it, check out this article.

State Office Reopening Update

All state employees received an update email today from Department of Administrative Services (DAS) about state office reopening plans.

DAS announced a target date of Sept. 1 for state offices to reopen to the public. A statewide work group has started convening to determine what the operations in state offices might look like moving forward, particularly regarding whether employees show up in person or continue to telework.

We will share more details about what this might look like for OYA once that has been determined.


March 8, 2021

Current COVID-19 Cases: No Staff, One Youth

Currently, we are not aware of any positive cases of COVID-19 among OYA staff. We have one youth currently in quarantine due to testing positive. The youth lives at home and is quarantining there.

Health Services Vaccinates Youth in Facilities

Over the past two weeks, OYA Health Services administered 119 doses of the Moderna vaccine to eligible youth in OYA facilities.

Overall, 47% of youth who were eligible (age 18 or older) chose to receive the vaccine. The highest vaccination rate was at Oak Creek, where 76% of eligible youth were vaccinated.

We are still working with Oregon Health Authority to come up with a plan for how to vaccinate our youth in the community, as well as those who are 16 and 17 and were too young to receive the Moderna vaccine.


March 2, 2021

Update on COVID Cases at OYA

Currently, we have no positive cases of COVID-19 among OYA staff.

We only have one youth positive case, a youth who is living at home. The youth who tested positive recently at Eastern Oregon Youth Correctional Facility have all recovered and returned to their regular living units. The facility has been in quarantine, although we expect that to be lifted today.

Staff and Youth Receive Vaccines

Last week, OYA’s Health Services staff ran vaccination clinics to provide second doses of vaccines to eligible staff. Overall, they administered 275 vaccines, and our staff vaccination clinics are now complete. Thanks again to the hard-working nurses and other staff who helped support these clinics.

This week, we’re starting to give the Moderna vaccine to youth in our close-custody facilities who are 18 and older. Moderna’s version is not approved for anyone under 18. We worked with Oregon Health Authority on a plan for Safeway Pharmacy staff to come on site to administer the Pfizer vaccine. to youth in close custody who are 16 and 17.

Our youth in residential programs who are 16 and older will be able to access the vaccine in community settings.

In all cases, the vaccine is optional, although we’ve given our youth up-to-date and culturally specific information about the vaccines so that they can make an informed decision.


Feb. 16, 2021

New COVID Cases at Eastern Facility

Five youth at Eastern Oregon Youth Correctional Facility have tested positive for the virus. They are in medical isolation. Their families have been notified.

The entire facility is still in quarantine.


Feb. 12, 2021

Update on Vaccines for Youth

Oregon Health Authority leaders tell us it is likely that OYA will receive Moderna vaccines for our youth in close custody sometime within the next two weeks.

Moderna’s vaccine is only approved for people age 18 and older, so we will only be able to administer it to youth in our correctional and transitional facilities who are 18 and older. We will be sending out more information about scheduling youth vaccines soon.

We are working with OHA on a plan to provide Pfizer vaccines to youth ages 16 and 17. These vaccines will likely be administered by external health providers who will come into our facilities.

For OYA youth ages 16 and older in residential programs, we are working out plans with OHA to offer them the vaccine in the community.

As a reminder, the vaccine is not mandatory. Youth can choose whether to take it.

We have prepared information geared toward our youth and their families to help them make an informed decision. This includes information specifically for Latino, Black and Native American youth and their families. You can find all this information on our blog: insideoya.com/2021/02/11/covid-19-vaccine-information-for-youth-and-families.  If you work with our youth or families, please share this link with them.

Feb. 5, 2021

Update on Vaccines for Youth

You may have read in the news that the Department of Corrections will soon start administering COVID-19 vaccines to the adults in their custody. (Read more in this article from The Oregonian.)

Our agency leaders are talking with the leaders at Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and we expect that eligible youth in our custody will also get the opportunity to receive the vaccine soon.

We still do not know exactly which youth will be eligible, although we know that age will be one factor. The Moderna vaccine is only approved for people age 18 and older, and the Pfizer vaccine is only approved for ages 16 and up.

What if the Youth Doesn’t Want the Vaccine, or Their Parent Doesn’t Want Them to Get It?

Youth are not required to have the vaccine at this time. If youth do not wish to receive the vaccine, all they need to do is refuse the shot when it’s offered.

The decision will likely be up to the youth. Oregon law says people age 15 and older can consent to medical procedures without parental consent, which means they could choose whether to get the vaccine.

We recognize that some families will want a say in the youth’s decision. If families are concerned about the vaccine, we recommend they reach out to their youth to discuss their preferences.

You can read more information about vaccines here: https://insideoya.com/2020/12/22/covid-19-vaccines-and-oya/

Three More Youth Test Positive at Eastern Facility

Three more youth tested positive for COVID-19 today at Eastern Oregon Youth Correctional Facility. Their families have been notified.

Currently, five youth are in medical isolation at Eastern due to testing positive. The entire facility is still in quarantine.


Feb. 4, 2021

Rogue Valley Re-Opens to Visitors

We are happy to report that Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility has been approved to move out of baseline opening status. This means that they are now able to re-start in-person visits for families and youth.

Case coordinators are reaching out to families now to schedule visits. Families should wait until they hear from their youth’s case coordinator before trying to schedule. Due to limits in how many youth can have visitors at the same time, the facility is prioritizing giving each youth one visit before scheduling a second visit.

Keeping Youth Safe at Eastern Facility

As we reported previously, eleven youth at Eastern Oregon Youth Correctional Facility have tested positive for COVID-19 this year. The entire facility is still in quarantine.

We wanted to share more information about some of the steps we are taking to try to prevent more virus spread at Eastern:

  • More rapid testing for youth and staff, followed up by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) nose swab tests for youth who test negative. Harney County health officials plan to train our nurses at Eastern in how to do the PCR tests.
  • More posters and educational information for youth to remind them about the importance of wearing face coverings, washing their hands, and staying distant from others. Staff are also going to be more insistent that youth follow these protocols.
  • Oregon Health Authority plans to do a virtual tour of the facility with an eye for other ways we could improve our prevention efforts.
  • Creating a contingency plan for how to ensure we have proper staffing if more youth need to be in medical isolation.

Feb. 1, 2021

OYA Vaccinates 271 Eligible Workers

OYA’s Health Services team administered 271 COVID-19 vaccinations at three close-custody facilities in the past several weeks.

The vaccines went to people who were eligible as part of group 1a, including facility staff, teachers, contractors, other OYA staff whose work takes them inside our facilities, and people who work with OYA youth in contracted residential programs.

Health Services held four vaccination clinics at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility, one at Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility, and one at Camp Florence.

A big thank-you goes out to the OYA nurses and others who worked many hours to make these vaccination clinics happen. Their dedication provides an extra layer of safety for our team and is directly helping to fight the pandemic.

Watch your email in a few weeks for more details about how we will distribute the second round of vaccines.

Two More Eastern Facility Youth Test Positive for Virus

Over the weekend, two more youth at Eastern Oregon Youth Correctional Facility tested positive for COVID-19.

As of today, eight youth are in medical isolation at Eastern due to testing positive. The families of the affected youth have been notified.

The entire facility is still in quarantine and cannot allow in-person visits for youth at this time.

MacLaren Records New Staff Case of Virus

Over the weekend, a MacLaren staff member reported testing positive for COVID-19. They are currently out of the workplace.

There are no youth positive cases or other staff cases at the facility at this time. The living unit that was in quarantine last week has finished its quarantine.


Jan. 26, 2021

Eastern Facility Records Eight Youth Cases of Virus

Yesterday, six more youth at Eastern Oregon Youth Correctional Facility tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total of current positive cases at Eastern to eight youth.

All eight youth are in medical isolation and their families were notified. The entire facility is in quarantine and cannot allow in-person visits for youth at this time.


Jan. 25, 2021

MacLaren, Oak Creek and Florence Hold Vaccine Clinics This Week

Several COVID-19 vaccination clinics for OYA staff and contractors are scheduled for this week at MacLaren and Oak Creek youth correctional facilities and at Camp Florence Youth Transitional Facility.

We’re happy to report that 59 people were able to get vaccinated last Friday at MacLaren. This week, MacLaren is holding vaccine clinics on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday for any OYA staff or contractors who are currently eligible to receive the vaccine.

Oak Creek is holding a vaccination clinic on Wednesday and Camp Florence is holding one on Thursday for all eligible OYA staff and contractors.

Eligible groups include:

  • Anyone whose job is at an OYA facility. This includes OYA staff, teachers, and contractors.
  • Juvenile parole/probation officers and juvenile parole/probation assistants.
  • Anyone whose job requires them to enter an OYA contracted community residential program.
  • Any other OYA staff whose work takes them inside our facilities. This includes staff who typically go into facilities but have been holding back on visiting during the pandemic. If there is no business need for you to enter a facility, you are not eligible at this time.

Advance registration is required to ensure we have the proper number of vaccines available and do not waste any doses. To register, please contact:

Not Sure About the Vaccine? Consider This

  • You can help stop the pandemic. To stop the pandemic, we need to use all our prevention tools. Vaccines are one of the most effective tools to protect your health and prevent disease.
  • COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. The U.S. vaccine safety system makes sure that all vaccines are as safe as possible. Also, studies show that the vaccines are very effective at keeping you from getting COVID-19.
  • The vaccine is free. The federal government is providing the vaccine free of charge to people living in the U.S.
  • If we all work together, we can get our society moving again. Our collective prosperity depends on stopping this pandemic. Vaccinating as many people as possible will help everything reopen more quickly.

Are you wondering what to expect when you get the vaccine? Here’s a great summary from the Centers for Disease Control: What to Expect (English). Información sobre las vacunas contra el COVID-19 (español).

MacLaren Employee Tests Positive for Virus

Late last week, a staff person at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility reported testing positive for COVID-19. They are now out of the workplace and quarantining at home.

In relation to this case, one living unit at MacLaren is now in quarantine. The families of youth in this living unit have been notified.


Jan. 20, 2021

COVID-19 Vaccines Arrive at OYA

Today, the Oregon Youth Authority began receiving our agency’s allotment of COVID-19 vaccines from the Oregon Health Authority.

As a reminder, we plan to hold vaccine clinics at several OYA facilities to administer the vaccines to any eligible staff or contractors who sign up.

It is important that you sign up in advance – you should be receiving information soon from your facility or your field supervisor about how to sign up. This will help us make sure we get the correct number of doses to each clinic and that we don’t waste any.

Every vial of the Moderna vaccine has about 10 doses in it. After a vial is opened, the vaccine must be administered within several hours. We need to make sure we have enough people ready to be vaccinated when we open the vials.

You still have the option of getting the vaccine in your community if you are eligible and do not want to wait. A mass vaccination site opened today at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. Salem Health is already offering vaccination sites in Salem and Dallas.

Third Youth Tests Positive at Eastern Facility

A third youth tested positive for COVID-19 this week at Eastern Oregon Youth Correctional Facility. This brings the current number of positive cases at Eastern to two youth and one staff member.

All three youth are in medical isolation and their families have been notified. The entire facility is still in quarantine and cannot allow in-person visits for youth.

Staff Member at Rogue Valley Tests Positive

This week, we learned of a staff member at Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility who tested positive for COVID-19. They are now quarantining at home.

One living unit at Rogue Valley is now in quarantine in relation to this case. The entire facility is still not able to allow in-person visits for youth at this time.


Jan. 15, 2021

OYA Vaccine Clinics Delayed

Oregon Health Authority advised us this morning that we will not be receiving our own allotment of vaccines next week as we had hoped. They have not given us a new target date yet, but we will let you know as soon as they do.

Eligible Staff May Get Vaccines in the Community Now

In the meantime, we encourage our eligible staff to go ahead and get the vaccine in their communities, wherever it is offered.

Salem Health is continuing to hold vaccination clinics in Salem and Dallas. These clinics are for anyone who is eligible as part of group 1a, regardless of where they live in Oregon. You can learn more details on this website: www.salemhealth.org/covid-19/covid-vaccine.

Also, several health care organizations are collaborating to set up a large-scale vaccination site at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, starting sometime next week. Watch your local news for more information in the coming days.

Residential Program in Quarantine Due to Staff Cases

Two staff members at one of OYA’s contracted residential programs in the community tested positive for COVID-19 this week.

As a result, the entire program is in quarantine. The families of youth living at this program have been notified.

We do not currently know of any positive cases of the virus among the youth at the program. Staff will be monitoring them closely for symptoms.

Second Youth Tests Positive at Eastern Facility

A second youth tested positive for COVID-19 this week at Eastern Oregon Youth Correctional Facility. This brings the current number of positive cases at Eastern to two youth and one staff member.

Both youth are in medical isolation and their families have been notified. The entire facility is still in quarantine and cannot allow in-person visits for youth.


Jan. 12, 2021

OYA Anticipates Receiving Vaccines for Staff Next Week

OYA leaders are still working with state health officials to determine when our agency will receive a supply of vaccines to administer through our own health clinics. We have put in an order for vaccines and we have heard that they may arrive next week.

We will let you know as soon as we have a firm date along with details for distribution.

Eastern Facility in Quarantine Due to Positive Cases

One youth and one staff member at Eastern Oregon Youth Correctional Facility tested positive for COVID-19 this week. As a result, the entire facility is in quarantine.

The youth who tested positive is in medical isolation and their family has been notified.

The facility quarantine means that they cannot allow in-person visits for youth at this time.

Rogue Valley Youth Tests Positive

One youth tested positive for COVID-19 this week at Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility. The youth is in medical isolation and their family was notified.

Another youth who was in close contact but is now at Camp Riverbend has been placed in quarantine as a precaution.

One living unit at Rogue Valley is still in quarantine. The entire facility is not able to allow-in-person visits for youth at this time.

Belloni Ranch Finishes Quarantine

We are happy to report that all the youth at the Bob Belloni Ranch residential program are officially off quarantine.

Program leaders are currently discussing when it will be safe and appropriate to begin allowing visitation again from families and juvenile parole/probation officers. Stay tuned for more information soon.

State Agencies Not Requiring Vaccines for Employees

You may have seen news today that the Oregon Labor Commissioner said Oregon employers can require vaccinations for their employees.

This announcement does not change anything for OYA or other state agencies. We are still not requiring the vaccine for our employees, although we highly recommend that you get one when it’s your turn.


Jan. 8, 2021

Eligible OYA Staff May Get Vaccines in their Communities

As we reported earlier this week, all people who are part of category 1a, which includes those who work in correctional settings, are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Today, Oregon Health Authority advised us that OYA staff who are eligible should feel free to go ahead and get their vaccine in their community, if it is being offered.

Read more on our “COVID-19 Vaccines and OYA” page.

Two Oak Creek Employees Test Positive for Virus

This week, two employees at Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility reported testing positive for COVID-19. Both are quarantining at home.

Two OYA youth are now in quarantine in relation to one of these staff cases. Their families have been notified.


Jan. 6, 2021

State Begins Offering Vaccines to Staff from Correctional Settings

Oregon Health Authority officials announced yesterday that the state will begin offering COVID-19 vaccinations immediately to all people categorized in Phase 1a, which includes people who work in correctional settings.

This means that these groups are eligible for the vaccine beginning today:

  • All Oregon Youth Authority (OYA) staff and contractors who work in OYA facilities, including teachers and healthcare providers.
  • All staff who care for OYA youth in contracted residential programs in the community.
  • OYA staff who provide direct support to youth but who don’t work full-time in a facility, such as juvenile parole/probation officers and foster care certifiers.

Marion County Offering Vaccine Clinics This Week

Anyone in the above groups who works in Marion County is eligible to participate in several COVID-19 vaccination clinics happening in Salem this week. All clinics are being held at the Jackman Long Building at the Oregon State Fairgrounds, 2330 17th St. NE.

Clinic schedule:

  • Thursday, Jan. 7, and Friday, Jan. 8, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Saturday, Jan. 9, and Sunday, Jan. 10, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Monday, Jan. 11, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The vaccine is free, although your insurance will be billed for administering it. Participants will be required to wear a face covering and attest to their eligibility. We recommend bringing your OYA badge.

You can read more about the Marion County clinics in this story from Salem Reporter.

Vaccines for Other Parts of Oregon

We are hearing some news of other counties offering vaccines to OYA staff in other parts of the state.

Health officials are asking people not to reach out to the county health departments at this time so as not to overwhelm them as they prepare their vaccination distribution. We will make sure that we notify you if your county contacts OYA about distributing vaccines. You can also check your local news sources to learn when clinics are scheduled.

Additionally, OHA tells us that our agency will still be receiving an allocation of COVID-19 vaccines to administer directly to our staff. We’ll let you know as soon as we have more specifics on when we will have the vaccines available.

Other COVID-19 Updates

  • Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility: This week, an employee at Oak Creek reported testing positive for the virus. They are now quarantining at home. Contact tracing revealed they did not have close contact with youth or with other staff.
  • Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility: One of the two living units that was in quarantine has now completed quarantine. However, the entire facility is still not able to allow in-person visitation.

Monday, Jan. 4

Youth at Belloni Test Positive; Program in Quarantine

The Bob Belloni Ranch residential program in Coos Bay is in quarantine after all 14 youth tested positive for COVID-19. The families of the youth have been notified.

The youth were tested after we learned they were in close contact with a Belloni staffperson who tested positive. At this time, the program is not able to allow in-person visits from families or from juvenile parole/probation officers.

Belloni leaders are working closely with local health officials to ensure that they are taking the appropriate safety precautions during this time.

Other Youth Cases

Two youth in the community who tested positive recently are still quarantining at home. Neither of them had close contact with other OYA youth or staff.

No youth in OYA’s youth correctional and transitional facilities are currently positive with the virus.

Update on COVID-19 Cases Among Staff

  • Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility: Two employees who tested positive are quarantining at home. There are currently no positive youth cases, and no youth in medical isolation. However, two living units are still in quarantine, and in-person visitation for youth and volunteer visits are still not allowed.
  • MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility: The living unit that was previously in quarantine after being in contact with a staff member who tested positive has finished its quarantine. No youth are currently positive for the virus, and no youth are currently in quarantine except for the regular precautionary quarantining of the intake units.
  • Field offices: Over the weekend, we learned of two more employees from OYA field offices who tested positive for COVID-19 and are quarantining at home. Neither had close contact with other staff or youth.

Proctor Home in Quarantine

One of OYA’s proctor homes is currently in quarantine after one of the proctor parents tested positive for COVID-19.

The families of the youth at this home have been notified. We are continuing to monitor the youth for symptoms of the virus.


Wednesday, Dec. 30

Two OYA Employees and One Youth Positive for COVID-19

Yesterday, an OYA employee who works in multiple locations tested positive for COVID-19. Today, we learned that another team member working in a field office is presumptive positive.

Neither person had close contact with staff or youth. Both will quarantine at home.

In addition, we learned today that a Marion County youth living independently tested positive. They will quarantine at home.

Harney County Health Department Offers COVID Vaccine to OYA Staff at Eastern Oregon Facility

Next week, the health department in Harney County, Oregon, will offer the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to all OYA staff and teaching staff who work at Eastern Oregon Youth Correctional Facility (EOYCF). The facility is located in Burns, Oregon, which is in Harney County. Staff will have the option to get the vaccine Tuesday through Friday, Jan. 5-8.

The announcement came sooner than expected. The Oregon Health Authority has said that OYA staff and contractors who provide direct care to youth will be eligible for the vaccine in the same phase as health care workers and those working in long-term care facilities for the elderly. It appears that local public health departments may prioritize from there, based on available supplies of the vaccine and local factors.

Eligible staff and contractors working at EOYCF are expected to receive their shots from the Harney County Public Health Department at a local clinic.

At this time, we do not have any new information about when staff and contractors working in other OYA facilities or in the community will receive the vaccine.

For answers to common questions about the vaccine and OYA, see our vaccine blog post, which we will also update as we get new information.


Tuesday, Dec. 29

MacLaren Staffer Tests Positive; Unit in Quarantine

On Monday, a MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility staff person reported testing positive for COVID-19. They are now quarantining at home.

One living unit was placed in quarantine in relation to this case. The families of youth in that unit have been notified.

Currently, four MacLaren staff members are quarantining at home due to testing positive for COVID-19. There are no current cases of the virus among MacLaren youth.

Rogue Valley Records Another Positive Staff Case

Another Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility employee learned today that they tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total number of current staff cases at the facility to four.

Additionally, two youth who tested positive are currently in medical isolation. All other youth who recently tested positive have been cleared to return to their regular living units.

Currently, two of the facility’s three living units are taking extra precautions as a result of recent staff or youth cases. The entire facility is still in quarantine, which means no in-person visiting.

Rogue Valley leaders are continuing to work with local health officials to do targeted testing of youth and rapid testing for anyone who develops symptoms of the virus.


Monday, Dec. 28

Update on COVID-19 Cases at Rogue Valley

One more youth tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend at Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility. Their family was notified. This youth, plus four others who previously tested positive, are in medical isolation.

Additionally, three staff who tested positive recently are still quarantining at home; the others who recently tested positive have been cleared to return to work. The entire facility is still in quarantine.

Blog Post About Vaccines and OYA

We posted an article on this blog with all the information we know at this time about COVID-19 vaccines for our staff and the youth in our custody. We will keep updating it as we learn new information.


Tuesday, Dec. 22

Update on COVID-19 Cases in OYA Facilities

  • Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility: Rogue Valley currently has eight youth who have tested positive and are in medical isolation. Their families have been notified. Additionally, six staff have tested positive and are quarantining at home. The entire facility is still in quarantine, which means no in-person visiting for youth.
  • MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility: Over the weekend we learned of another staff person at MacLaren who tested positive. However, they had not been in to work for several weeks. Currently, four MacLaren staff who tested positive are quarantining at home. No youth have tested positive, and no youth are in quarantine except for the regular precautionary quarantining of the intake units.

Reminder: Please Do Not Gather for Holidays

In a press conference on Tuesday, Gov. Kate Brown praised the efforts of many Oregonians to follow safety precautions and help stop the spread of COVID-19.

She also reminded everyone of the importance of continuing to follow these precautions over the upcoming holidays.

“I ask you to once again re-think your Christmas and New Year’s plans,” Brown said, meaning that people should avoid gathering in groups or with people outside their household.

On Monday, the state legislature met in a one-day special session, where they approved an $800 million relief package to help Oregonians through the pandemic and people affected by the summer’s wildfires. You can read more details about yesterday’s special session in this article from OPB News.


Monday, Dec. 21

Important Update on COVID-19 Vaccine for Youth

We told you last week that we believed many youth in our correctional facilities and camps would be eligible soon for the COVID-19 vaccine.

However, we learned that this is not the case.

Healthcare workers in hospitals and elderly people living in long-term care facilities are first in line to get the vaccine in Oregon.

After they all receive it, the next wave of doses will include all the staff working in OYA’s youth correctional and transitional facilities, and all the staff working in residential programs that house our youth.

Oregon Health Authority notified us late last week that this second wave of vaccines will not include the residents (youth) in those facilities. It will only include the staff.

We will continue to talk with health officials about when it will be possible to get the vaccine for youth in our custody.

Updates on COVID-19 Cases at OYA

  • Rogue Valley: Seven youth at Rogue Valley have tested positive for COVID-19 and are in medical isolation. The families of these youth have been notified. Four staff have also tested positive and are quarantining at home. The facility is still in quarantine and cannot allow in-person visits.
  • MacLaren: Over the weekend we learned about another staff member testing positive. However, they have not been at MacLaren for several weeks. Currently, four employees who tested positive are quarantining at home. No youth have tested positive, and no youth are in quarantine.

Wednesday, Dec. 16

Two More Youth Test Positive at Rogue Valley

Since our last update, we learned of two additional youth at Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility testing positive for COVID-19. That brings the total number of current cases at Rogue Valley to seven youth and four employees at the facility.

The youth who tested positive are in medical isolation, and their families have been notified. The staff who tested positive are quarantining at home.

The entire facility remains in quarantine, which means no in-person visiting for youth, no volunteers inside the facility, and no mixing of youth from different living units.

COVID-19 Vaccine Updates

Staff Eligibility

We are continuing to receive information from Oregon Health Authority as to who will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine at OYA, and when. Please note that the information shared here could change.

One thing has not changed: the first doses of the vaccine in Oregon will go to healthcare workers in hospitals and to those working in long-term nursing facilities for the elderly.

As of today, we’re being told that all OYA staff and contractors who work in our facilities will be among the next groups of essential workers eligible for the vaccine as determined by OHA.

It’s less clear whether other OYA staff providing direct support to youth but who don’t work full-time in a facility – such as JPPOs, JPPAs, and foster care certifiers – would be included in that round of vaccines. We know they will be eligible for the vaccine at some point; we just don’t know when.

In all cases, we still have not heard a solid timeline of when the vaccine will come to OYA.

Vaccine FAQ

The New York Times put together an FAQ about the COVID-19 vaccines, and we thought you might find it useful.

It includes information about side effects of the vaccines (there are some, but they don’t last long), how long it takes for the vaccines to work (about a week after the second dose), whether the vaccines are safe (extensive testing has revealed no serious safety concerns), and whether a face covering is still necessary after you get the vaccine (yes).


Monday, Dec. 14

COVID-19 Vaccine: Eligibility for Youth

The COVID-19 vaccine is arriving in Oregon this week. The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) will be giving first priority to healthcare workers in hospitals and long-term skilled care nursing facilities that house the elderly.

After they receive the vaccine, the next wave of doses will include youth (as well as direct-care staff) in OYA youth correctional and youth transitional facilities.

Please note that none of the vaccines are recommended for children at this time. We are working with OHA to determine exactly which ages of youth would be eligible for the vaccines. Our goal is to obtain vaccines for as many of our youth in custody as possible, assuming it is safe for them to receive it.

We do not know a timeline yet for when our facilities would receive the vaccine. After all, there will not be enough doses in the first shipment to vaccinate all of the workers in healthcare and nursing facilities. We will keep you updated as we learn more.

Five Youth and Two Staff Cases at Rogue Valley

Five youth at Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility have tested positive for COVID-19 and are in medical isolation. The families of these youth have been notified.

Additionally, two staff at the facility tested positive over the weekend and are quarantining at home.

OYA Health Services staff conducted testing over the weekend on all staff and youth at the facility after a different employee there tested positive last week. This testing revealed the new positive cases.

The entire facility remains in quarantine, which means no in-person visiting for youth, no volunteers inside the facility, and no mixing of youth from different living units. Youth also have to stay in their living units for school and groups.

New Case Among Staff at MacLaren

Late last week, another employee at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility reported that they tested positive for COVID-19. This employee is currently quarantining at home.

This is the fourth current case of COVID-19 among the staff at MacLaren. Currently, there are no positive cases among the youth, although one living unit is in quarantine. The families of youth in that unit have been notified.


Thursday, Dec. 10

New Staff Case Reported at MacLaren

This week, another employee at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility reported to us that they tested positive for COVID-19. This employee is currently quarantining at home.

One living unit is now in quarantine in relation to this case. The families of youth in that unit have been notified.

This is the third current case of COVID-19 among the staff at MacLaren. Currently, there are no positive cases among the youth.

You Are Not Alone: COVID-19 Resources

Next extra help during the pandemic? Know someone who does?

The Oregon Department of Human Services, has put together a thorough list of resources to help you and your loved ones counteract the difficulties of staying physically distant from others.

Titled “You Are Not Alone,” the resource list includes confidential help lines (with translation services) for:

  • domestic and sexual violence
  • suicide prevention
  • mental health and alcohol and drug resources
  • resources for youth, including for LGBTQ+ youth
  • elder resources
  • financial exploitation
  • abuse reporting

Wednesday, Dec. 9

Rogue Valley Facility in Quarantine

Late yesterday, an employee at Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility reported to us that they tested positive for COVID-19. This employee is currently quarantining at home.

As a precaution, the entire Rogue Valley facility has been placed in quarantine. We are still conducting contact tracing to see whether other staff or youth were in close contact with this person.

In-person visiting for youth is still suspended. Youth will also be staying in their living unit for school and groups and will only mix with other youth from their living unit.


Tuesday, Dec. 8

Eastern: Quarantine Lifted; Still No Visiting

The four youth at Eastern who tested positive for COVID-19 at Eastern Oregon Youth Correctional Facility have finished their time in medical isolation and returned to their living units.

Also, we were able to lift the quarantine at Eastern Friday. However, in-person visitation for youth is still suspended until further notice.

Rogue Valley: Visiting Still Suspended

Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility does not currently have any positive cases of the virus among OYA staff or youth.

However, an employee at their school reported last week that they tested positive. This employee had close contact with two others who work at the facility, but not with any youth.

There are no longer any youth in quarantine at Rogue Valley. However, in-person visitation at the facility is still suspended, and volunteers are still not allowed inside the facility.

Three Other COVID-19 Cases in Facilities

  • MacLaren: An employee at MacLaren reported last week that they tested positive for the virus. The employee is quarantining at home. One living unit briefly went into quarantine as a result of this case, but they are already finished with their quarantine. Additionally, a different employee reported testing positive this week; no one else had to quarantine in relation to this case.
  • Camp Riverbend: A contractor who works at Camp Riverbend reported late last week that they tested positive for the virus. However, the contractor did not work in the facility during the period when they could have exposed someone else to the virus.

COVID-19 Cases in the Community

  • One residential program is in quarantine after an employee there tested positive for the virus last week. All the families of youth at this program have been notified. Visiting is currently suspended at this program.
  • Two OYA youth in the community tested positive for the virus last week. Both were already living at home and are now quarantining there.

OYA Now Using COVID-19 Rapid Tests

OYA now has the ability to administer “rapid tests” for COVID-19 to OYA youth in our facilities in limited circumstances.

The rapid tests can deliver results within about 15 minutes. However, they have a high rate of false negatives. Because of this, OYA will continue to use the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests that have been used until now.

Currently, only MacLaren and Oak Creek — our intake facilities — have rapid tests available.

When Will OYA Use Rapid Tests?

  • When youth have been exposed to someone who has tested positive.
  • When a youth displays classic symptoms of COVID-19 and the health provider requests it. If the rapid test is negative, a follow-up PCR test will be ordered.

Will a Negative Rapid Test Mean Youth Can Leave Quarantine?

No, because of the high rate of false negatives. A follow-up PCR test may be given if a youth has classic symptoms of COVID and the health provider believes a COVID diagnosis is likely.

If a youth’s rapid test is positive, they will be moved to medical isolation.


Thursday, Dec. 3

School Employee at Rogue Valley Tests Positive

An employee at the school at Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility reported to us late yesterday that they tested positive for COVID-19.

Contact tracing showed that the employee had close contact with two others who work at the facility, but not with youth. The affected staff have been notified.

In this case, vigilant care among our staff and youth to maintain physical distance and wear their face coverings prevented more close contacts and quarantines. Great job to everyone down at Rogue Valley for following these important safety guidelines.

Youth in Community Tests Positive

Today, we learned about another OYA youth in the community who tested positive for COVID-19.

This youth has been living at home and is now quarantining there. They did not have recent close contact with any OYA staff or other youth.

Interactive Risk Level Maps and Other Resources

Starting today, there is a new risk level framework to determine what type of restrictions each county needs to follow.

Counties are categorized into four levels: lower, moderate, high, and extreme risk. The levels are determined by number of COVID-19 cases and positive tests.

At this time, 25 of Oregon’s 36 counties are in the extreme risk category.

To learn more, check out the state’s new coronavirus website. It’s the new go-to place for anyone who wants to learn about COVID-19 in Oregon.

Among the highlights are a map with each county risk level, state guidelines, resources, testing information and more. Explore the updated website at coronavirus.oregon.gov.


Wednesday, Dec. 2

Youth in Community Tests Positive

Yesterday, we learned that a youth on OYA supervision who lives at home tested positive. No staff or other youth have had contact with the youth for over three weeks. The youth is at home in quarantine.

Rapid Tests for COVID-19: How OYA Will Use Them

OYA now has the ability to administer “rapid tests” for COVID-19 to youth and to Facility Services staff in limited circumstances.

The rapid tests are less invasive than the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests that have been used until now. They can also deliver results within about 15 minutes, compared to several days for PCR tests.

However, rapid tests have a high rate of false negatives. Consequently, OYA will continue to use PCR tests as well, consistent with guidelines from the Oregon Health Authority.

Which Facilities Have Rapid Tests?

Currently, only MacLaren and Oak Creek — our intake facilities — have rapid tests available.

When Will OYA Use Rapid Tests?

Rapid tests will be administered to youth when:

  • Youth have been exposed to someone who has tested positive.
  • The youth displays classic symptoms of COVID-19 and the health provider requests it. If the rapid test is negative, a follow-up PCR test will be ordered.

Will a Negative Rapid Test Mean Youth Can Leave Quarantine?

If youth are in quarantine and a rapid test comes back negative:

  • Quarantine will not be lifted. A follow-up PCR test may be administered if a youth has classic symptoms of COVID and the health provider believes a COVID diagnosis is likely.
  • If a youth’s rapid test is positive, they will be moved to medical isolation.

Under What Circumstances Could OYA Staff Receive a Rapid Test?

Rapid tests may be offered to staff if recommended by the Oregon Health Authority, depending on circumstances.

How Will Decisions Be Made?

Final decisions about whether a given case meets the necessary criteria for a rapid test will be made by health care providers.


Tuesday, Dec. 1

MacLaren Employee Tests Positive

An employee at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility reported this week that they tested positive for COVID-19. The employee is now quarantining at home.

As a result of this case, one living unit is now in quarantine. The families of youth living in this unit have been notified.

Residential Program Employee Tests Positive

This week, we learned about an employee at one of OYA’s contracted residential programs who tested positive for COVID-19. That employee is now quarantining at home.

As a result of this case, the entire program is now in a two-week quarantine and will not be allowing any visitors, including families and juvenile parole/probation officers (JPPOs). The youths’ families and JPPOs have been notified.

Program leaders are working with county health officials to ensure they are following the proper safety guidelines and to secure tests for staff or youth who want them.


Monday, Nov. 30

Eastern: Five Positive Cases; Facility Still in Quarantine

Eastern Oregon Youth Correctional Facility currently has five positive cases of COVID-19: four youth and one employee.

However, we also have good news: everyone else at the facility has tested negative for the virus. We learned these results after doing mass testing on all youth and staff last week. Mass testing there was recommended by health authorities.

The four youth who tested positive are in medical isolation and their families were notified.

The facility is still in quarantine. In-person visitation for youth is still cancelled until further notice.

Rogue Valley: No Current Cases; Visitation Still Suspended

We are happy to report that Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility does not currently have any positive cases of the virus among staff or youth.

All staff who previously tested positive for COVID-19 are now finished with their quarantine.

Seven of the eight youth who have been in quarantine are scheduled to complete their quarantine tomorrow. The eighth youth will remain on quarantine for another week. The families of all eight youth have been notified.

Because of the recent positive cases among staff, in-person visitation is still suspended, and volunteers are still not allowed inside the facility.


Saturday, Nov. 28

Eastern: Two Additional Youth and One Staff Positive

On Thursday, we learned that two more youth and one employee at Eastern Oregon Youth Correctional Facility tested positive for COVID-19. This means a total of four youth and two staff have tested positive at the facility. The youth have been moved to medical isolation and their families have been notified. The employee is quarantining at home.

The entire facility has been in quarantine since Nov. 18, after they learned that an employee had tested positive for the virus. The facility conducted COVID-19 tests on all staff and youth and additional test results are still expected.

As a reminder, in-person visitation for youth has been cancelled at this facility until further notice.


Monday, Nov. 23

Eastern: Two Youth Positives; Facility Still in Quarantine

Late Friday, we learned that two youth at Eastern Oregon Youth Correctional Facility tested positive for COVID-19. They are both in medical isolation and their families have been notified.

The entire facility has been in quarantine since Nov. 18, after they learned that an employee had tested positive for the virus. The facility is currently working to conduct COVID-19 tests on all staff and youth.

In-person visitation for youth is cancelled at this facility until further notice.

Rogue Valley: Three New Staff Cases; Visitation Suspended

Over the past few days, three employees at Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility have reported testing positive for COVID-19.

When added to the contractor case we reported on Friday, this brings the total to four people working at Rogue Valley who are currently positive for COVID-19.

There are no positive cases among the youth. However, eight youth are in quarantine because of close contact with the employees who tested positive. These youths’ families have been notified.

Because of the multiple positive cases, Rogue Valley is taking these precautions:

  • In-person visitation for youth is suspended until further notice. Staff will continue to make video visits and phone calls a priority for youth and their families.
  • Volunteers are not able to come inside the facility.
  • Youth are only able to be around youth from their living unit.

Central Office: One Employee Tests Positive

This week we learned of a Central Office employee from Community Services who tested positive for COVID-19.

This person has been working from home and did not have close contact with other staff or youth. They are now quarantining at home.

Thanksgiving: Please Stay Home and Don’t Gather

New cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations are setting records daily in Oregon. It’s important that we strictly follow the governor’s directives to help prevent the spread of the virus.

That means don’t gather with more than six people total, from no more than two households. It also means don’t travel — stay home, or only travel within your region. No matter what you decide to do, please wear your face covering, wash your hands frequently, and maintain physical distance from others.

We know that it’s hard to not participate in your usual Thanksgiving celebrations and gatherings. However, following these guidelines will protect vulnerable members of your own family and your community who might otherwise and get sick and die.

Thanks, but no thanks
With COVID-19 rates rising, it's safest to celebrate Thanksgiving with just the people you live with.
Here are three respectful ways to say no if friends or loved ones invite you over.
Keep it short and sweet
There's no need to go into detail when you decline an invitation.
A simple "thank you for the invitation, sorry, I can't make it" should do the trick.
Provide an alternative
Offer to drop in to the gathering by phone or video.
Or propose a one-on-one, physically distant meetup outdoors after the holiday rush.
Send a gift
Express your appreciation for the invite even though you're not going.
Sending the host a handmade card, flowers or baked goods shows you're there in spirit.

****

Eastern: Dos Jóvenes Positivos; Instalación Sigue en Cuarentena

El viernes por la tarde nos enteramos de que dos jóvenes en el Centro Correccional Juvenil del Este de Oregón (Eastern Oregon Youth Correctional Facility) dieron positivo por COVID-19. Ambos se encuentran en aislamiento médico y sus familias ya han recibido notificación.

Toda la instalación ha estado en cuarentena desde el 18 de noviembre, después de saber que un empleado había dado positivo por el virus. Actualmente se están haciendo arreglos para dar pruebas de COVID-19 a todo el personal y a los jóvenes.

Las visitas en persona para los jóvenes están canceladas hasta nuevo aviso.

Rogue Valley: Tres Casos Nuevos Entre Personal; Visitacion Suspendida

Durante días recientes, OYA se enteró de tres casos positivos adicionales de COVID-19 entre los empleados del Centro Correccional Juvenil de Rogue Valley.

Cuando se agrega al caso del contratista que le informamos el viernes, esto nos trae a un total de cuatro personas que trabajan en Rogue Valley y que actualmente han dado positivo para el COVID-19.

No hay casos positivos entre los jóvenes. Sin embargo, ocho jóvenes están en cuarentena debido al contacto cercano con los empleados que dieron positivo. Se ha notificado a las familias de estos jóvenes.

Debido a los múltiples casos positivos, Rogue Valley está tomando las siguientes precauciones:

  • Las visitas en persona para jóvenes se suspenden hasta nuevo aviso. El personal seguirá facilitando las visitas por video y las llamadas telefónicas como prioridad para los jóvenes y sus familias.
  • Los voluntarios no pueden entrar a la facilidad.
  • Los jóvenes solo podrán convivir con los jóvenes de su unidad de vivienda.

Oficina Central: Un Empleado da Positivo

Esta semana nos enteramos de un empleado de la Oficina Central de Servicios Comunitarios que dio positivo por COVID-19.

Esta persona ha estado trabajando de casa y no tuvo contacto cercano con otros miembros del personal o jóvenes. Actualmente está en cuarentena en su hogar.

Dia de Acción de Gracias: Por favor, Quédense en Casa y No Se Reúnan

Nuevos casos de COVID-19 y las hospitalizaciones están estableciendo récords a diario en Oregón. Es sumamente importante que sigamos estrictamente las directivas del gobernador para ayudar a prevenir la propagación del virus.

Eso significa que no se reúna con más de seis personas en total, de no más de dos hogares. También significa no viajar, quedarse en casa o viajar solo dentro de su región. Independientemente de lo que decida hacer, póngase una cubierta facial, lávese las manos con frecuencia y mantenga la distancia física de los demás.

Sabemos que es difícil no participar en celebraciones o juntas sociales como acostumbramos durante Dia de Acción de Gracias o días festivos. Sin embargo, seguir estas pautas protegerá a los miembros vulnerables de su propia familia y su comunidad que, de lo contrario, podrían enfermarse y hasta morir.

Gracias, pero no
Los casos de COVID-19 aumentan y mas seguro celebrar Accion de Gracias solo con las personas que convive.
Aqui encontrara algunas formas respetuosas de decir "no" si un amigo o un ser querido lo invita.
Breve y Con Respeto
No hay necesidad de entrar en detalles cuando rechaza una invitacion. Un simple "gracias por la invitacion, pero no podre ir" es suficiente. 
Ofrezca una alternativa
Proponga reunirse por telefono o video.
O un encuentro en persona manteniendo la distancia y al aire libre despues de que pasen las Fiestas.
Envie un Regalo
Exprese su gratitud por la invitacion incluso si no va a ir.
Enviar al anfitrion una tarjeta artesanal, flores o algo horneado servira como muestra de su agradecimiento.

Friday, Nov. 20 (Updated)

Worker at Rogue Valley Tests Positive — Visitation Suspended

Late yesterday, we learned that someone who works at Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility tested positive for COVID-19.

As a result, seven youth at the facility are now in quarantine. Their families have been notified. As a result and based on guidance from the Oregon Health Authority, in-person visitation has been cancelled until at least Nov. 24. We know how important visitation is to youth and their families and we will restore visits as soon as health officials tell us it is safe to do so.

Eastern Facility Still in Quarantine

As we reported earlier this week, all of Eastern Oregon Youth Correctional Facility is in quarantine as a precaution after an employee tested positive for the virus.

In-person visitation is cancelled at this facility until further notice.

Update on Cases Among Youth

We’re happy to report that things are starting to get back to normal at the J5 residential program in Bend. They still are not able to allow visitors, but another round of testing this week did not show any new cases of the virus. Also, some of the youth have finished their quarantine and are able to start using the common areas again, with precautions in place.

Reminder: Two-Week Freeze

A quick reminder: Oregon’s two-week freeze of social activities began on Wednesday.

Oregon's Two-Week Freeze: What it Means for OYA
Youth Correctional Facilities
- In-person visits: still allowed for youth who aren't in quarantine or medical isolation. Clear plastic barriers between youth and visitors.
- Visitors screened for symptoms. Face coverings and physical distancing required.
Community Programs & Foster Homes
- Phone or video visits preferred.
- In-person visits: outside preferred, with face coverings and physical distance. Visitors screened for symptoms. 
- No home visits unless youth is transitioning home permanently.

Wednesday, Nov. 18

Eastern Oregon Facility in Quarantine

Late yesterday, we learned that an employee at Eastern Oregon Youth Correctional Facility tested positive for COVID-19.

Contact tracing showed that this employee did not have close contact with any youth. However, they did have close contact with some other employees. As a precaution, the entire facility went into quarantine.

This means:

  • No in-person visits until further notice.
  • All staff are required to wear protective medical masks and gloves.
  • Youth will be required to wear their face covering.
  • Volunteers are not allowed inside the facility.
  • Youth will not be mixing with youth from other living units.

Tuesday, Nov. 17

How the Governor’s “Freeze” Impacts OYA

Last week, Governor Brown announced two-week statewide freeze on social activities statewide. The freeze begins tomorrow, Nov. 18, and ends Wednesday, Dec. 2. For some counties, including Multnomah, the freeze will last at least four weeks.

The goal is to halt the spread of COVID-19, as cases are growing at an exponential rate and threatening hospital capacity. It’s important to remember that because of the incubation period of the virus, we won’t see the impacts of these steps for at least two weeks.

Impact on Youth Correctional Facilities

  • After consulting with the Oregon Health Authority, in-person visits for youth and their families are still allowed, but we will take extra precautions. For at least the next two weeks, visits will be no-contact and with clear plastic barriers between visitors and youth. The plastic barriers had already been used at MacLaren; we are working to add them at our other facilities.
  • We will continue screening visitors for symptoms, and everyone will be expected to wear face coverings and maintain physical distance.
  • Just like before, however, if a youth is in quarantine or medical isolation, they cannot have in-person visits.
  • Health officials say it’s OK for youth from different living units to mix, as long as there are no current cases of the virus at that facility. However, MacLaren is not going to allow units to mix, due to their location within Marion County, where COVID-19 is spreading rapidly.

Impact on Community Residential Programs and Foster Homes

  • Visits during the freeze should be virtual as much as possible, either by phone or video.
  • If an in-person visit is essential, visits should occur outside whenever possible; everyone should stay at least six feet apart and wear face coverings.
  • If the visit must be indoors, it should be held in a room separate from others.
  • Home visits will not be permitted unless a youth is transitioning home permanently.
  • Health officials also recommend that these programs have all visitors go through a health screening when they arrive.

Monday, Nov. 16

Oregon’s Statewide Freeze: More Info Soon

We have received many questions about what the governor’s two-week statewide freeze will mean for OYA’s operations.

Members of our team have been diligently meeting since late last week with representatives of Oregon Health Authority, Department of Human Services, and Department of Corrections to clarify the guidance to implement the freeze across several youth-serving areas. We expect to have more specific information within the next day or so on what more we can do to help flatten the curve of COVID-19 cases in our settings.

New Staff COVID Case at OYA

Over the weekend, we learned of an employee at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility who tested positive for COVID-19. Thankfully, this person did not have close contact with any youth or other staff, so no others had to go into quarantine.

Staff adherence to physical distancing and face covering guidelines contributed to us not having to quarantine extra people at MacLaren. Thank you to all the staff who are following these important safety precautions!

This is the third current case of the virus among OYA team members. The other two are a staff person at Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility and a staff person in Development Services. Neither had close contact with any youth.

As for cases among OYA youth, we have no new cases since we reported last week about the 13 youth who tested positive at the J5 residential program in Bend.


Friday, Nov. 13

Oregon Enters Two-Week Statewide Freeze

Today, in response to an alarming rise in COVID-19 cases, the governor announced a two-week statewide freeze.

From Nov. 18 through Dec. 2, these rules will apply:

  • Social gatherings should not be larger than six people, from no more than two households. This applies indoors or outdoors.
  • Gatherings of faith-based organizations are limited to 25 people indoors or 50 people outdoors.
  • No indoor visitation in long-term care facilities.
  • Workers should work from home to the greatest extent possible and close offices to the public.
  • Restaurants can only do delivery and take-out.
  • Grocery stores, pharmacies, retail stores, and malls are limited to 75% capacity and should encourage curbside pick-up.
  • All of these businesses must close: gyms and fitness organizations; indoor recreational, sports, and entertainment facilities; museums; zoos, gardens, and aquariums; outdoor entertainment activities; venues that host or facilitate events.

OYA leaders are already consulting with Oregon Health Authority about what the two-week freeze means for our agency’s operations, including whether it will impact visitation for youth and families. We anticipate having more information to share early next week.

West Coast Governors Announce Travel Advisory

Also today, the governors for Oregon, California, and Washington announced a travel advisory for their states.

The advisory, which applies to all of Oregon, says that:

  • People arriving in Oregon from other states or countries, including returning Oregon residents, should self-quarantine for 14 days after they arrive. This does not apply for people who cross state or country borders for essential travel (work, study, critical infrastructure support, economic services, supply chains, health, immediate medical care, and safety and security).
  • Oregonians are encouraged to stay home or in their region and avoid non-essential travel to other states or countries. Non-essential travel includes travel related to tourism or recreation.

OYA is also consulting with OHA to evaluate what the new travel advisory means for our operations. We anticipate having more information to share early next week.

Two OYA Staff Test Positive for Virus

Today, two OYA staff members reported testing positive for COVID-19: one at Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility and one in Development Services.

Contact tracing at Rogue Valley showed that the staff person was only in close contact with three other staff, who have been notified, and not with any youth. The staff member who tested positive is quarantining at home.

The staff member in Development Services has been working from home and was not in direct contact with any of their co-workers or youth. They are quarantining at home.

Update on Youth Cases of COVID-19

Additional testing this week at the J5 residential program in Bend did not show any new positive cases among the youth. Thirteen youth and eight staff at the program have tested positive for the virus, and the entire program is still in quarantine.

Central and Field Offices Closed to Public Indefinitely

Early this week, the Department of Administrative Services removed the end date on its COVID-19 guidance for state offices. This means that these current restrictions no longer have an end date:

  • OYA’s Central and Field Offices must stay closed to the public except by appointment only.
  • Everyone in these offices should work from home or telework to the greatest extent possible.
  • Non-essential work travel is not allowed.
  • Face coverings are required at all times for employees and customers in these offices. The only exception is when staff are working alone at their workspace.

Monday, Nov. 9

New Restrictions During the Governor’s Two-Week “Pause”

Over the past few days, Governor Brown announced a two-week pause on social activities in nine counties to help fight the rapid spread of COVID-19. These counties are: Baker, Clackamas, Jackson, Malheur, Marion, Multnomah, Umatilla, Union, and Washington.

The “pause” begins Wednesday, Nov. 11, and ends Wednesday, Nov. 25.

MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility

MacLaren, located in Marion County, will have several new restrictions during this “pause” to protect the safety of youth and staff:

  • In-person visitation will continue but hugs will not be allowed. Clear partitions will be set up to help prevent the spread of germs between youth and visitors.
  • Youth from different living units will not be allowed to mix.
  • Volunteers will not be allowed into the facility. In recent weeks, some religious volunteers had been allowed back in. However, their meetings with youth involve mixing youth from different living units, and these will be suspended during the pause.

Camp Riverbend Youth Transitional Facility

Camp Riverbend, located in Union County, will implement these new restrictions:

  • In-person visitation will become no-contact, and we will work on installing clear partitions to help prevent the spread of germs between youth and visitors.
  • Youth at Riverbend already live together in one unit, so we do not need to institute additional rules regarding unit mixing.
  • Volunteers will not be allowed into the facility.

Residential Programs in the Community

OYA has asked its residential programs in the affected counties to review how the two-week pause will affect their operations. That could have an effect on family visits. To learn what is happening in a specific residential program, families or staff should contact the program directly.


Thursday, Nov. 5

Additional Youth at J5 Program Test Positive for Virus

Yesterday, we learned that 9 more youth and five additional staff at the J5 residential program in Bend have tested positive for COVID-19, and one additional youth is being retested. That means that a total of 13 youth and 7 staff have tested positive. The youths’ families have been notified.

The entire program, which is run by J Bar J Youth Services, is currently in quarantine and not allowing visitors.

As we have noted before, J Bar J is working closely with OHA and the Deschutes County Public Health Department to coordinate testing and their response.


Tuesday, Nov. 3

Youth at J5 Program Test Positive for Virus

Over the past few days, four youth and two staff at the J5 residential program in Bend have tested positive for COVID-19. The youths’ families have been notified.

All youth and staff at the program are currently being tested for the virus. The program-wide testing started Friday after we learned of one of the J5 staff members’ positive tests, and multiple youth and staff reported feeling symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

The entire program, which is run by J Bar J Youth Services, is currently in quarantine and not allowing visitors.

OYA and the Oregon Health Authority delivered additional personal protective equipment to the program over the weekend. J Bar J is working closely with OHA and the Deschutes County Public Health Department to coordinate testing and their response.


Friday, Oct. 30

J5 Program Quarantining Due to Staff Case of Virus

Today, an employee who works at the J5 residential program in Bend reported testing positive for COVID-19.

The entire program, which is run by J Bar J Youth Services, is currently in quarantine. They are not allowing visitors, and they are not allowing any youth to be discharged or admitted.

Juvenile parole/probation officers for the youth at the program are in the process of reaching out to their families to let them know about the situation.

Community Youth Tests Positive

In an unrelated situation earlier this week, we learned about a OYA youth in the community who tested positive for the virus. They are quarantining at home and did not have close contact with any OYA staff.


Thursday, Oct. 29

Video visits moving from Skype to Microsoft Teams

On Nov. 5, Oregon Youth Authority is going to stop using Skype for Business for video meetings and visits. Instead, we will be using Microsoft Teams.

Once we make this transition, families will need to use Microsoft Teams instead of Skype in these instances:

  • Video visits with youth in an OYA correctional or transitional facility.
  • Video meetings with anyone at OYA.

For youth in community placements, video visits will likely stay the same. Families, check with your youth’s program if you have questions.

Here is a guide to help you learn how to use Microsoft Teams.

If you have any questions, please contact your youth’s case coordinator, living unit manager, or juvenile parole/probation officer (JPPO).

***

Visitas de vídeo se mueven de Skype a Microsoft Teams

Apartir del 5 de noviembre, Oregon Youth Authority dejara de usar Skype For Business para videoconferencias y visitas. En su lugar, usaremos Microsoft Teams.

Despues de la transición, familias tendrán que usar Microsoft Teams en lugar de Skype en estos casos:

  • Las visitas en video con su joven se encuentran en un centro correccional o de transición de OYA.
  • Reunión de video con un personal de OYA.

Para jóvenes colocados en programas residencialessus de OYA, visitas en video probablemente permanecerán igual. Familias, consulte con el programa de su joven si tiene preguntas.

Esta es una guía para ayudarle a aprender a usar Microsoft Teams.

Si tiene alguna pregunta, comuníquese con el Coordinador de la unidad de vivienda de su joven, o el Oficial de libertad condicional (JPPO).


Wednesday, Oct. 21

No COVID-19 Cases at St. Mary’s Home for Boys

We are happy to report that additional COVID-19 tests conducted last week at St. Mary’s Home for Boys revealed no positive cases of the virus.
Currently, no staff or youth at this residential program are in quarantine.

The program remains closed to visitors.

Shields No Longer OK as Face Coverings

Oregon Health Authority announced new guidance this week that says face shields by themselves are no longer acceptable face coverings.

This is because they are not as effective at limiting the release of aerosols that can go around the shield.

If you have been using a shield when visiting OYA offices or facilities, you need to switch to another type of face covering. If you have a medical condition or disability that prevents you from wearing a face covering, you can request an accommodation from the person making your appointment.

Here are a few other reminders about face coverings:

  • Face coverings must rest snugly above the nose, below the mouth, and on the sides of the face.
  • Coverings that include a valve, mesh, or any other openings, holes, vents, or gaps in material do not count as face coverings, so you should not use them.

Tuesday, Oct. 20

Video visits moving from Skype to Microsoft Teams

On Nov. 5, Oregon Youth Authority is going to stop using Skype for Business for video meetings and visits. Instead, we will be using Microsoft Teams.

Once we make this transition, you will need to do video visits with your youth using Microsoft Teams instead of Skype.

One good thing about this change is that it will be much easier to join the Microsoft Teams meetings on your web browser than before. Also, you will still be able to join Microsoft Teams meetings on your mobile phone.

We will make the change starting Nov. 5. Before then, we will provide a detailed guide on how to use Microsoft Teams for video visits.

In the meantime, if you plan to continue using your mobile phone for video visits, it will be helpful for you to go ahead and download the Microsoft Teams app. That way, you’ll be ready to go when we make the transition.

If you have any questions at this time, please email OYA Communications.

Visitas de vídeo se mueven de Skype a Microsoft Teams

Apartir del 5 de noviembre, OYA dejara de usar Skype For Business para videoconferencias y visitas. En su lugar, usaremos Microsoft Teams.
Despues de la transición, tendrá que hacer visitas de vídeo con su hijo(a) usando Microsoft Teams en lugar de Skype.

Algo positivo de este cambio es que será mucho más fácil unirse por video usando Microsoft Teams con su navegador de web. Además, podrá unirse por video usando su teléfono móvil.

Haremos el cambio a partir del 5 de noviembre. Antes del cambio le daremos un guía detallado sobre cómo usar Microsoft Teams para las visitas de vídeo.

Por el momento, si planea seguir usando su teléfono móvil para visitas de vídeo, seriá útil descargar la aplicación Microsoft Teams. Asi, estará preparado para la transición.

Si tiene alguna pregunta, envíe un correo electrónico a OYA Communications.


Wednesday, Oct. 14

Update on St. Mary’s Home for Boys

Last week, we reported that seven OYA youth tested positive for COVID-19 at this residential program and were quarantined with the other youth in their cottage. All the youth in that cottage have now completed their quarantine. They went back to regular activities yesterday.

Additional testing is being conducted on a weekly basis at St. Mary’s, based on guidance from public health authorities for outbreaks in long-term care.

The program remains closed to visitors.

Changes to MacLaren Visiting

Recently, MacLaren received approval from OYA and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) to move to Phase 2 of reopening.

This change has several impacts on visitation:

  • We are removing the clear plastic booths at visitation. Youth and visitors will still need to stay at least six feet apart. Face coverings are still required for youth and visitors.
  • Visitors and youth will be able to have a brief hug at the beginning and end of the visit. No other contact is allowed.
  • Youth who are fathers may have visits with their children. These one-hour visits are by appointment only, and occur on Wednesday evenings in the Timberline Building.

These changes will start on Sunday, Oct. 18. You can read more details on the OYA website.


Thursday, Oct. 8

Youth in Proctor Home Tests Positive for COVID-19

Today, we learned that a youth in a proctor home at one of OYA’s contracted residential programs tested positive for COVID-19. The youth is asymptomatic.

Earlier in the week, a rapid test given to the youth came back negative. However, they were also given a slower, more accurate 72-hour test, and the result was positive. The youth was tested after one of their proctor parents tested positive last Friday. The other proctor parent’s tests have been negative.

The proctor parent and the youth who tested positive will be medically isolating from the rest of the household.

The youth’s family have been notified.


Monday, Oct. 5

Update on COVID-19 Cases at OYA

St. Mary’s Home for Boys

This residential program in Beaverton currently has seven OYA youth and six St. Mary’s staff who have tested positive for COVID-19. The youths’ families have been notified.

All affected youth and staff were in the same cottage. Late last week, mass testing was conducted for all youth and staff in that cottage. Several youth tested negative, and we’re still waiting on test results for the rest.

The entire cottage is still in quarantine.

Proctor Parent Tests Positive

Late Friday, we learned that a proctor parent at one of OYA’s contracted residential programs tested positive for COVID-19.

The proctor parent’s spouse and the one OYA youth living in the home both tested negative. The parent who tested positive is isolating from the rest of the household.

The youth’s family and several staff who visited the home last week have all been notified.

Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility

We reported previously that a youth was in quarantine after being in close contact with a staff member who tested positive for the virus. We are happy to report that the youth is now out of quarantine, and the staff members affected by this incident have all returned to work.


Wednesday, Sept. 30

Residential Program Reports Multiple COVID-19 Cases

We wanted to give you an update on the community residential program we reported on earlier this week that had positive cases of COVID-19.

As of today, six OYA youth, five other youth, and four staff working at St. Mary’s Home for Boys in Beaverton have tested positive for the virus. All of them are from the same cottage. The youths’ families have been notified.

The program is keeping the youth who tested positive in medical isolation, and the rest of their cottage is in quarantine.

Visitation for all youth at St. Mary’s is currently suspended. OYA currently has 32 youth placed at this program.

OYA and St. Mary’s are working closely with county health officials and Oregon Health Authority to monitor the issue and see what type of assistance might be available to help the program manage the situation.


Tuesday, Sept. 29

Update on Cases of COVID-19 at OYA

Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility

Late last week, a staff member at Oak Creek reported testing positive for COVID-19. This person is now recovering at home. We did contact tracing and found that only one youth was in close contact with the employee. This youth does not have symptoms but is currently in quarantine. Their family has been notified. We also have notified all staff who were in close contact with this employee.

MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility

We reported last week that a youth at MacLaren was being tested and was in medical isolation due to showing symptoms consistent with COVID-19. The youth’s test was negative and they are no longer in medical isolation.

Positive tests at a community residential program

One OYA youth and one youth supervised by another agency at a community residential program have tested positive for COVID-19. They are currently in medical isolation and their families been notified. One staff member at the program also has tested positive.

Four other youth at the program (two from OYA, and two from the other agency) are being tested and are in medical isolation while waiting for the results. Their families have been notified.

All visitation to this program is currently canceled. The youth in medical isolation are all from the same cottage. Program staff are taking extra precautions to ensure that none of the youth from this cottage are near youth from other cottages.

Safe + Strong Helpline Launches

If you are looking for emotional support, there are more resources available.

Oregon-based nonprofit Lines for Life and OHA have launched the Safe + Strong Helpline at 800-923-4357 (800-923-HELP). The line offers free, 24-7 emotional support and resource referral to anyone who needs it – not only those experiencing a mental health crisis.

The Safe + Strong Helpline is a response to the need for emotional support around disasters like COVID-19 and wildfires and was funded by the CARES Act. Callers are routed to a counselor who can provide emotional support, mental health triage, drug and alcohol counseling, crisis counseling or just connection.

You can also find resources on the Safe + Strong website: www.safestrongoregon.org.


Friday, Sept. 25

MacLaren Moves to Phase 2 of Reopening

MacLaren has received approval to move to Phase 2 of reopening, beginning Sept. 26. This is because it’s been a while since they had their last confirmed case of COVID-19.

Here is what Phase 2 will mean for the campus:

  • No changes for visitation. We will continue with the current visiting set-up: by appointment only, with no physical contact allowed.
  • Juvenile parole and probation officers (JPPOs) will be able to come back on campus. This means youth can have in-person visits with their JPPOs. The JPPOs have to wear face coverings, pass the health screening at the gatehouse, and stay at least six feet away from others as much as possible.
  • Some volunteers will be able to come back inside to lead activities. This includes activities related to treatment, transitioning back to the community, religious services, and cultural activities. All activities will happen off the living units, and we will not have more than two volunteers assigned to any activity. Volunteers will have to wear face coverings, pass the health screening at the gatehouse, and stay at least six feet away from others as much as possible.
  • Youth will be able to attend some activities with youth from other living units. These activities include treatment and enrichment groups, athletic activities, and jobs. Groups will not be larger than 10 people, including staff. All youth have to wear face coverings and stay at least six feet away from others.
  • No changes for school and vocational training programs. Youth will continue doing these activities only with other youth from their living unit. Everyone must wear face coverings and stay at least six feet away from others.

If MacLaren has any new cases of COVID-19 among youth or staff that require us to move youth into medical isolation or quarantine, the campus has to return immediately to baseline status. That would mean ending the JPPO visits, volunteer-led activities, and mixing of youth from different living units.

The no-contact visitation would still happen even if MacLaren goes back to baseline.

MacLaren Visiting Schedule for October


Tuesday, Sept. 22

UPDATE Sept. 23: The youth’s test came back negative. The youth will be moved back to the living unit, and the living unit is off quarantine status.

MacLaren Youth Goes to Medical Isolation

Today, we learned that a youth at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility was showing symptoms consistent with COVID-19. The youth will be tested for COVID-19. We expect to receive test results in the next few days.

The youth was placed in medical isolation and the youth’s living unit has been placed on quarantine as a precaution. Staff and families of affected youth have been notified.

COVID Cases Agencywide

Agencywide, no staff are on quarantine due to work exposure. No staff are positive for COVID-19.


Friday, Sept. 18

Current COVID-19 Cases at OYA

Currently, we do not have any cases of COVID-19 among our youth. There are also no youth in our facilities in medical isolation or quarantine, except for intake youth, who are routinely quarantined when they arrive.

The intake youth we mentioned in our Sept. 17 update tested negative and was cleared to leave medical isolation.

We know about one positive case among our staff: an employee from our Marion County office. We learned about this person’s case last week. They were already quarantining at home and were not in direct contact with any other staff or youth.

Families Can Now Visit Parole or Probation Youth in Phase 1 Counties

Good news! Family members and key supporters of youth placed at community-based programs in Phase 1 counties can now visit them at their program, provided they are on the youth’s list of approved visitors.

The Oregon Health Authority updated its health guidance and supported our request to allow these types of visits.

That also means that OYA can now provide financial support if you need assistance to make the trip. To learn more, check with your youth’s juvenile probation and parole officer (JPPO).

NOTE: Not all residential programs or foster homes can accept visitors at this time. Make sure to call ahead to confirm your arrangements.

Home Visits Still Not Allowed – Even for the Holidays

The Oregon Health Authority says it is still not advisable for youth to make home visits. That means that youth will not be able to make home visits over the holidays this year. We know this is disappointing to youth and families, but we remain committed to keeping youth safe. 


Thursday, Sept. 17

Intake Youth Goes to Medical Isolation at MacLaren

Today, we learned that a youth coming to MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility as a new intake was showing symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

As soon as the youth arrived, OYA Health Services staff assessed the situation. The youth was placed in medical isolation and was tested for the virus.

The youth’s symptoms were discovered before they arrived at MacLaren, so no other youth needed to go into quarantine.

COVID Cases Agencywide

Agencywide, we do not currently have any positive cases of COVID-19 among our youth.

We know of one positive case among staff, the Marion County employee we reported on last week. They are still quarantining, and we wish them a speedy recovery.


Wednesday, Sept. 9

Marion County Employee Tests Positive

Today, an employee from our Marion County office reported that they tested positive for COVID-19.

This employee has already been quarantining at home and has not been in direct contact with any other staff or youth.

This is currently the only positive case of the virus among OYA staff or youth.

We wish this team member a speedy recovery.


Thursday, Sept. 3

OYA Offices Closed through Dec. 31

All state agency offices will remain closed to the public through Dec. 31.

This means that OYA’s field offices and our Central Office in Salem will stay closed except by appointment only. OYA staff who have been teleworking will continue to do so.

Face Coverings Required at OYA Offices

If you make an appointment to come into an OYA field office or Central Office, you are now required to wear a face covering while you’re in our office. Our staff are also required to wear a face covering.


Tuesday, Sept. 1

September Visiting Schedule for MacLaren

Today we posted the visiting schedule for the entire month of September for MacLaren. You can view it on our website: www.oregon.gov/oya/maclaren/Pages/visit.aspx


Friday, Aug. 18

Update on Oak Creek Youth

The Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility who was in medical isolation due to testing positive for COVID-19 has recovered and moved to a regular living unit.

Currently, there are no positive cases of COVID-19 among OYA youth or staff.

There are no youth in medical isolation or quarantine at our facilities except for youth in intake at MacLaren, who are automatically quarantined for at least two weeks.


Tuesday, Aug. 25

Update on COVID-19 at OYA

  • As we reported previously, one youth at Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility tested positive for COVID-19 and is in medical isolation (see below entry for Aug. 22).
  • There are currently no youth in our other facilities in medical isolation or quarantine, except for intake youth at MacLaren, who are automatically quarantined for at least two weeks. One youth in the community is self-quarantining while waiting for a test result.
  • Among our staff, one employee at MacLaren is still at home after testing positive for COVID-19 several weeks ago.

Visiting at MacLaren

If you are a family member of a MacLaren youth and you haven’t had the opportunity to visit them yet, you may be wondering what the current visiting set-up looks like.

Our staff built clear plastic booths in the Visitation Center to prevent germs from spreading between visitors and youth. Here’s a photo to show you what the booths look like:

To see the visiting schedule for the next few weeks, check out the PDF below. Please remember, all visits must be scheduled in advance.

Youth Moving to Residential Programs

When youth are new to a residential program, or they are returning to a program after being in the community, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) recommends that we do not test them for COVID-19 unless they are showing symptoms of the virus.

OHA has advised us that it’s not necessary to test youth who don’t have symptoms. This kind of test could lead to a false sense of security because:

  • some tests come back with a false negative;
  • people can have a false positive test for up to 90 days after they’re no longer able to transmit the virus; and
  • incubation periods — where someone can test negative but still transmit the virus — can last up to 14 days after someone is exposed.

Even though a COVID-19 test is not required for all new youth, we’re still working with our residential providers to make sure they take extra precautions. These include checking frequently for symptoms of the virus, wearing masks, frequent handwashing, and limiting new youths’ exposure to others.


Saturday, Aug. 22

Youth at Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility Tests Positive for COVID-19

A youth at Oak Creek YCF has tested positive for COVID-19.

The youth was a new intake who had reported exposure to COVID-19 in the community and displayed symptoms consistent with the virus. Because of this, they were placed in medical isolation upon arrival at the facility. The youth will remain there until they recover.

All potentially-affected staff and the youth’s family have been notified.


Thursday, Aug. 13

MacLaren: Deadlines for Making Appointments to Visit

In-person visits for youth at MacLaren are by appointment only, and there are deadlines for when families need to make those appointments:

  • For Wednesday visits: the deadline is 4 p.m. on the Tuesday before the visit.
  • For Sunday visits: the deadline is 4 p.m. on the Friday before the visit.

Read more in our MacLaren Visiting Update:


Tuesday, Aug. 11

Update on COVID-19 Cases at OYA

Currently, there are no positive cases of the virus among our youth.

On Sunday, we learned of a new staff case of COVID-19 at MacLaren. The staffperson is out of the workplace now.

As a result of this new case, we have placed one living unit in quarantine. Families of all the youth in this unit have been notified. The youth living there may not leave the unit until health officials say it is OK to lift the quarantine. Typically, quarantine lasts two weeks. These youth also may not have in-person visits until they are done with quarantine.

Late last week, we also learned one of our staff members at a parole/probation office tested positive for COVID-19. They were not in contact with any youth and they have already recovered and finished their quarantine.

Visiting at MacLaren – A Correction and an Update

If your youth lives on Noble or Maple Unit at MacLaren, they may not have visitors until they leave intake. We previously said otherwise, and we apologize for the error.


Monday, August 10

Update on MacLaren Visiting

Youth on Maple and Noble living units at MacLaren may not have visitors until they move out of the intake units. Previously we said they could have visitors; we apologize for the mistake. Below are new PDFs with information about MacLaren visiting.


Friday, August 7

Staff in Community Tests Positive

Yesterday, an OYA staff member based at one of our community field offices reported that they tested positive for COVID-19.

The staff person did not have any recent contact with youth. Staff who might have had contact have been notified.

State Offices to Maintain Status Quo through Oct. 31

Last week, the Department of Administrative Services announced that all state offices should maintain their current status through Oct. 31.

For OYA field offices and Central Office, this means:

  • Teleworking: Employees who have been teleworking should continue to do so as much as possible. When telework options are not possible, everyone must maintain six feet of distance between themselves and others.
  • State Agency Offices Stay Closed to Public: Our offices will continue to serve the public only by phone, online, or with appointments.
  • Travel: Non-essential work travel is still not allowed.

This announcement does not apply to OYA’s close-custody facilities, which are on their own timeline for reopening.


Tuesday, August 4

Update on MacLaren’s Plan for Family Visits

Please read the PDF below for full details about the rules for restarting visitation at MacLaren and for information about how to schedule a visit. (Updated Aug. 10 with new PDFs)


Wednesday, July 29

Visiting at MacLaren Starts Again Soon

The Oregon Health Authority has approved a plan for our campus to start allowing family visitors again. We currently plan to re-start visitation in mid-August.

We will send you more details about the plan in the coming weeks, but we can tell you a few basic things now:

  • All visits will happen in the Visitation Center, with only one unit having visits at a time.
  • All visits will be by appointment only and will be happening on Wednesdays and Sundays.
  • We are building clear plastic booths that will keep visitors and youth from spreading germs to each other.
  • All visitors and youth will be required to wear face coverings. Physical contact will not be allowed.
  • Visitors will be limited to immediate family members over age 18 who are on their youth’s Approved Visitors List. Each youth will only be able to have two visitors at a time.

We are not ready to start scheduling visits yet. We will let you know how to schedule a visit soon.

We know that these last four and a half months without in-person visits has been hard for you and your youth. This plan is not a full return to visiting the way it was before, but it’s something that will allow you and your child to see each other while hopefully keeping everyone healthy.


Tuesday, July 28

New Metrics for Reopening Community Schools: What Do They Mean for OYA?

Today, Governor Brown, alongside state health and education officials, announced new reopening metrics that will determine whether school districts are able to reopen for in-person classes. The metrics are related to the number of COVID-19 cases in the state and in each school district’s county.

The new guidance from the Department of Education and the Oregon Health Authority explicitly says that the new county metrics do not apply to schools in detention/correctional facilities. Instead, in-person instruction inside these facilities is to be determined by the rates of COVID-19 cases in each specific facility.

Schools within OYA facilities have already reopened with a mix of in-person and online instruction. Currently, there are no active COVID cases among staff or youth in our facilities. No youth are quarantined and all staff who tested positive in the past have been able to return work. If new cases crop up, OYA will work closely with local school districts and the Oregon Health Authority to ensure that in-person instruction remains safe for staff, contractors, and youth.

The schools in our facilities are taking numerous precautions to prevent spread of the virus to our youth, staff, or teachers. These include physical distancing and face covering requirements, smaller class sizes, increased cleaning in the school areas, and symptom checks for teachers and students. We believe it is imperative that youth in all OYA facilities receive some in-person instruction, and that it can be done safely. Education is a critical part of our youths’ treatment and rehabilitation, and many of the youth in our custody are significantly behind their peers in school. In-person support from teachers is extra important to help them be successful.


Monday, July 27

Youth in Community Tests Positive

Today we learned about our first youth in the community to test positive for COVID-19.

This youth was already living in their family home, and they are quarantining there. No other youth or OYA staff were in contact with the youth in the 48 hours before the youth learned of their positive test.

Facility Schools Resume Classes in Person

All schools inside OYA facilities have now resumed some form of in-person instruction.

Many of them, including the schools at Rogue Valley, Oak Creek, and Camp Florence, are doing a hybrid of in-person and distance learning. The Tillamook facilities just started week two of full-day, on-site instruction. Camp Riverbend and Eastern Oregon report that things are going well with their in-person classes.

Lord High School at MacLaren had its first day of in-person classes last Thursday. You may have seen in the news that the teachers there were protesting because they felt unsafe returning in person. OYA has been talking with Willamette Education Service District, Oregon Department of Education and Oregon Health Authority regularly as the ESD developed a plan for safe reopening. OHA supported the ESD’s plan to reopen last week.

You can read about the precautions we’re taking at Lord High School on our blog.


Monday, July 20

Lord High School at MacLaren Reopens

OYA youth will be begin receiving in-person instruction at Lord High School at MacLaren again starting this week.

  • Since the pandemic began, youth have not been in a classroom. Instead, they have been participating in distance learning on their living units.
  • Many of the youth we serve need extra support to be successful. They can’t get this type of support through online learning.
  • The Willamette Educational Service District (WESD) runs Lord High School. Last week, they finalized a plan to make sure youth and staff could safely return to the classroom.
  • That plan was reviewed by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA). OHA supported the plan to open this week.
  • You can see the “operational blueprint” WESD created for Lord High School here: https://www.wesd.org/Page/1282.

We already have many practices in place to make sure youth and staff stay safe, including:

  • Only OYA staff and contractors can enter MacLaren at this time. (School teachers are contractors.)
  • All adults who enter are screened for COVID-19 symptoms and have their temperature taken. They are also required to wear masks at all times when around others inside buildings. When they’re outside, they also have to wear a mask if they’re not able to stay at least six feet away from others.
  • Youth who have symptoms of COVID-19 or who have had close contact with someone with the virus are quarantined. They would not attend in-person school while quarantined.

Some additional measures will be taken so youth can attend school safely:

  • Youth attending class will be asked to wear face coverings and to stay at least six feet apart from others.
  • Only half the students will be in the school building at any one time.
    • Living units will be divided into two groups of four to eight students. Those groups will go the school classroom every other day.
    • Groups that stay on unit will receive distance learning, take part in the classroom via video conference, or work on coursework provided by teachers.
  • Students will stay in the same room for most of their classes. All classrooms will be disinfected between class changes.
  • Youth will only be attending classes with other youth from their living unit.
  • Medically vulnerable youth will be offered alternative education on their living unit.

You can read more here about how youth will be kept safe.


Thursday, July 16

Two More Employees at MacLaren Test Positive

Since our last message a week ago, two more MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility staff members reported that they tested positive for COVID-19. That brings the total to seven staff in the past three weeks.

As a result, we have one living unit currently in quarantine. All of the families of these youth have been notified.

Currently, we do not have any positive cases among OYA youth. We also don’t have any positive staff cases outside of MacLaren.

Visiting Update for OYA Facilities

MacLaren is still not able to have family visits because they have not reached Phase 2 of reopening. We know that it’s been more than four months since youth there have had visitors. At this point, we believe the emotional toll of not being able to see loved ones is heavier than the risks of the virus. We’re working with Oregon Health Authority on a proposal that we hope will allow youth to have some visits soon. We’ll keep you updated.

All other OYA facilities have started allowing family visitors again, by appointment only. If you’d like to schedule a visit, please contact the front office of your youth’s facility.

Update on Schools in Facilities

The Oregon Department of Education gave the schools in our facilities a July 20 deadline to re-start in-person instruction. The school principals have made a lot of progress working with their districts and our facilities to come up with plans for how to re-open safely.

However, these schools must meet the same safety guidelines as schools in the community, and they have had to figure out how to do it in much less time. This means that not all of them will be up and running with in-person education programs by July 20.

The schools at Oak Creek, Young Women’s Transition Program, and Camp Florence already started using a hybrid model where students are attending both in person and online. Our other facility schools will likely follow a similar type of model.


Monday, July 13

Governor Issues New Protective Mandates

Today, the governor announced two additional mandates aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19:

  • a requirement for everyone to wear face coverings outdoors if they can’t maintain physical distance from others who aren’t from their household; and
  • a statewide ban on indoor social get-togethers of more than 10 people. This mandate does not apply to restaurants, gyms, or civic, cultural, or faith-based gatherings.

Both mandates go into effect Wednesday, July 15. They came in response to the rapid spread of COVID-19 across Oregon in recent weeks.

Another Staff Member Reports Positive Test

On Sunday, another staff member at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility reported that they tested positive for the virus.

However, no additional quarantines were needed, as this employee had been out of the workplace for more than a week before they showed symptoms of the virus.

Over the past 2-1/2 weeks, six MacLaren staff members have reported testing positive for the virus. Currently, there are no youth cases on campus.


Friday, July 10

Update on Cases at MacLaren

Today, another staff member at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility reported that they tested positive for the virus.

However, no additional quarantines were needed, as this employee had been out of the workplace for more than a week before they showed symptoms of the virus.

Also, one of the living units that was being quarantined was removed from quarantine today.

Camp Riverbend Moves to Phase 2

This week, Camp Riverbend received approval to move to Phase 2 of reopening.

As a result, they will be able to start allowing family visitors again. They plan to restart visitation on Tuesday, July 14.

Youth at the camp will also be able to go back into the community for some activities.

Visiting Update for OYA Facilities

MacLaren is still not able to have family visits at this time because they have not yet reached Phase 2 of reopening.

Oak Creek, the Young Women’s Transition Program, and Eastern Oregon will start allowing family visits beginning Saturday, July 11. Please contact their front offices if you wish to schedule a visit.

Camp Riverbend is now approved for Phase 2 of reopening and will start allowing visits beginning Tuesday, July 14. Contact their front office if you wish to schedule a visit.

All other OYA facilities have already started allowing family visitors again, by appointment only. Please contact your youth’s case coordinator or camp counselor to learn more.


Wednesday, July 8

Update on Cases at MacLaren

Today’s COVID-19 Weekly Report issued by Oregon Health Authority includes MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility on its list of active workplace outbreaks. (See page 14 of the report.)

Workplaces with 30 or more employees are added to this list when they have five or more active cases of the virus. For this report, OHA counted cases of the virus for a two-week period.

That means the five cases listed for MacLaren include the four employee cases that we reported about on Monday, plus the one youth case from earlier in June. That youth completed their time in medical isolation and returned to their regular living unit.


Monday, July 6

Four Staff Members at MacLaren Test Positive for Virus

On July 1, we shared that one staff member at MacLaren YCF had reported they tested positive for COVID-19. Since then, three other staff members at MacLaren also reported positive tests.

As a result, two living units are currently under quarantine. One youth who recently moved to Rogue Valley is also in quarantine, although they tested negative for the virus and have not shown any symptoms. The families of all the affected youth have been notified.

Also from MacLaren: The one youth who had tested positive and was in medical isolation has now returned to their living unit. We currently have no other positive cases among OYA youth.


Wednesday, July 1

Staff Member at MacLaren Tests Positive for Virus

This week, a staff member at MacLaren YCF reported that they tested positive for COVID-19.

As a result, we have combined two of the units at MacLaren and put all those youth under quarantine. We have also quarantined one youth who recently moved to Rogue Valley YCF. The families of all the affected youth have been notified.

Other News from MacLaren:

  • One youth is still in medical isolation due to testing positive for the virus. He should be able to return to his living unit this weekend.
  • Three other youth are still in medical quarantine. They tested negative and are not showing symptoms of the virus. They should be able to return to their living unit next week.

Clarification on Face Covering Requirements

Staff who work in our field offices or Central Office are required to wear a mask or face covering any time they are meeting with customers, even if they’re more than six feet apart.

Face coverings are also required whenever staff in these offices are not able to stay more than six feet away from each other.

In our facilities, all staff are required to wear face coverings whenever they are inside, unless they are in a room or office by themselves or supervising from a distance, like during a night shift. They also must wear a face covering outside whenever they are not able to stay at least six feet away from others.


Tuesday, June 30

Governor Extends State of Emergency

Today, Governor Brown extended her declaration of a state of emergency regarding COVID-19 for an additional 60 days, until Sept. 4.

This allows for her executive orders related to the pandemic to stay in place, including the orders around reopening.

“When I first declared a state of emergency due to the coronavirus, there were 14 cases of COVID-19 in Oregon. Today, there have been over 8,600 cases, with over a quarter of those cases identified in the previous two weeks of June,” she said in a statement. “Oregon, you have a choice. You can help to save lives again. What happens next is up to all of us.”

Masks Required Inside Public Places

Starting tomorrow, July 1, everyone in Oregon is required to wear a mask or face covering anytime they are inside a public space.

As a reminder, this does not apply to staff while they are working in our field offices or Central Office unless they are unable to maintain proper physical distancing.

Stay Safe for the Holiday

Many of us will want to celebrate or gather with friends and family for the July 4th holiday. Please try to keep your celebrations small and local, if possible, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. And if you do gather, don’t forget to put your chairs six feet apart and wear your face covering!


Wednesday, June 24

Asymptomatic Youth at MacLaren Tests Positive for COVID-19

Last week, we shared that four youth at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility were in quarantine as a result of being in close contact with an employee who tested positive for COVID-19.

Today, we learned that one of those four youth tested positive for the virus. That youth is now in medical isolation. The other three youth tested negative and remain in quarantine. All of their families were notified. None of them are showing symptoms of the virus.

Also, the entire living unit for the youth who tested positive was placed under quarantine.

Facility Schools to Resume In-Person Classes in July

Oregon Department of Education (ODE) issued guidance this week to the districts that run schools inside OYA facilities and county juvenile detention programs, requesting that they resume in-person classes no later than July 20.

The school districts and education service districts will be working with the teachers and our facility staff in the coming weeks to come up with a plan that meets ODE’s safety requirements. Those requirements include:

  • establishing a minimum of 35 square feet per person when determining room capacity;
  • maintaining six feet of distance between students to the greatest degree possible;
  • practicing proper hygiene, cleaning, and disinfecting;
  • checking teachers’ temperatures daily;
  • requiring all teachers to wear facial coverings, and strongly recommending the coverings for students; and
  • advising teachers not to come to work if they or anyone in their household recently had an illness with fever or cough.

In his guidance, ODE Director Colt Gill wrote, “Supportive staff such as teachers, social workers, mentors, mental health professionals, volunteers, and professional advocates are a stabilizing force in the lives of many incarcerated youth. … Where possible, it is vital that we must maintain the social and emotional bonds that act as protective features against the adverse experiences that are currently affecting all young people.”

Visitation Restarts Soon at More Facilities

All facilities except MacLaren and Camp Riverbend have received the go-ahead to move to Phase 2 of reopening, which means they can start allowing family visits again.

These facilities have announced their dates for when they will restart visits. They are notifying families this week.

  • Tillamook YCF and Camp Tillamook: Saturday, June 27
  • Camp Florence: Saturday, July 4
  • Eastern Oregon YCF: Saturday, July 11
  • Oak Creek YCF and Young Women’s Transition Program: to be announced soon

All families who wish to schedule visits are being told to reach out to their youth’s case coordinator.

Rogue Valley restarted family visits last week. In the first five days, 24 youth received visits. Superintendent Ken Jerin says their plan is to make sure all youth get the opportunity to have an initial visit before offering additional visits to the youth who already got to see their families.

“Youth and families were happy to see each other and appreciated our efforts to make it a safe environment for them,” Jerin says. You can watch and read more about visiting at Rogue Valley in this story on KDRV Channel 12 News.


Friday, June 19

Camp Riverbend moves back to Phase 1

Camp Riverbend in La Grande, which had been approved for Phase 2 of reopening, will be moving back to Phase 1. This is because the facility is located in Union County, which has voluntarily gone back to Phase 1 after a severe spike in coronavirus cases this week.

This means Riverbend’s plans to allow visits will be delayed until it reaches Phase 2 again.


Wednesday, June 17

MacLaren Staff Member Reports Positive Test

This week, a MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility staff member reported that they tested positive for COVID-19. They are currently out of the workplace.

As a result, four youth from two living units have been moved to quarantine. They were tested for the virus, and we are still waiting for the results. Families of the affected youth have been notified.

MacLaren leaders determined that no other facility staff had sustained, close contact with the person who tested positive.

State Offices to Maintain Status Quo through Aug. 31

This week, the Department of Administrative Services announced that all state offices should maintain their current status through Aug. 31.

For OYA field offices and Central Office, this means:

  • Teleworking: Employees who have been teleworking should continue to do so as much as possible. When telework options are not possible, everyone must maintain six feet of distance between themselves and others.
  • State Agency Offices Stay Closed to Public: Our offices will continue to serve the public only by phone, online, or with appointments.
  • Travel: Non-essential work travel is still not allowed.

This announcement does not apply to OYA’s close-custody facilities, which are on their own timeline for reopening.


Visiting Youth on OYA Probation or Parole

If your youth is living at a residential program, proctor home, or foster home, they may be able to have visitors there soon. Home visits are still not allowed.

First, the county where their care provider is located must be in Phase 2 of reopening.

However, even when this is true, the program may still decide not to allow visiting yet. Each program has a primary responsibility to keep youth safe, and doing this will mean different things in each program.

To learn if your youth’s care provider is going to allow visitors, please contact the provider first. If you still have questions, contact your youth’s juvenile parole/probation officer (JPPO).

Attached is a flier that talks more about the process for programs to allow visits, and the rules that will be in place to keep everyone safe and healthy.

Visiting Restarts at Rogue Valley

Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility will be able to allow families to visit starting Thursday, June 18.

Visits are by appointment only. Your youth’s case coordinator will reach out to you soon to schedule a visit.

All visits will have to follow these rules:

  • No physical contact except for a hug at the beginning and at the end of the visit. Please read the attached flier for guidelines on how to hug in a way that prevents spreading germs.
  • Stay six feet apart.
  • Bring a face covering – they are required.
  • No symptoms of COVID-19, and your temperature must be below 100.4. We’ll check at the door.

If you have had COVID-19:

You may still visit your youth, but only if these things are true:

  • It’s been at least 10 days since your symptoms first appeared; AND
  • It’s been at least 3 days since you’ve had any symptoms. That includes having a normal temperature without the use of aspirin or other medications that reduce fever.

Visiting for Youth in Other OYA Secure Facilities

All other facilities, except for MacLaren, will be able to allow visiting sometime in the next few weeks.

MacLaren will not be able to allow visiting until 28 days have passed since the start of their last positive case of the virus.

***

Visitando a los jóvenes de OYA en libertad provisional o bajo custodia

Si su joven vive en un programa residencial, hogar de supervisión u hogar de crianza, es posible que pronto puedan recibir visitas. Las visitas a domicilio aún no están permitidas.

Primero, el condado donde se encuentra su proveedor de atención debe estar en la Fase 2 de reapertura.

Sin embargo, incluso cuando esto sea cierto, el programa aún puede decidir no permitir visitas. Cada programa tiene la responsabilidad principal de mantener a los jóvenes seguros, y hacer esto significará cosas diferentes en cada programa.

Para saber si el proveedor de atención de su hijo permitirá visitas, comuníquese primero con el proveedor. Si aún tiene preguntas, comuníquese con el oficial de libertad condicional / libertad provisional juvenil (JPPO) de su joven.

Adjunto se encuentra un volante que habla más sobre el proceso de los programas para permitir visitas y las reglas que se implementarán para mantener a todos seguros y saludables.

Visitas reiniciara en Rogue Valley

La Correccional Juvenil de Rogue Valley podrá permitir que las familias visiten a partir de jueves el 18 de junio.

Las visitas solo con cita previa. El coordinador del caso de su joven se comunicará con usted pronto para programar una visita.

Todas las visitas deberán seguir las siguientes reglas:

  • No habrá contacto físico a excepción de un abrazo al principio y al final de la visita. Por favor lea el folleto adjunto para seguir la guía de como abrazar de manera que se evite el esparcimiento de gérmenes.
  • Mantenerse a seis pies de distancia.
  • Usar cubrebocas – son requeridas.
  • No tener síntomas de COVID-19, y su temperatura debe estar abajo de 100.4. La verificaremos en la puerta de entrada.

Si usted tiene o ha tenido COVID-19:

Usted pudiera continuar con la visita, pero sólo sí lo siguiente es verdadero:

  • Han pasado al menos 10 días desde la prímera aparición de los síntomas; y
  • Han pasado al menos 3 días desde que tuvo cualquier síntoma Lo que incluye el tener una temperatura normal sin el uso de aspirinas u otros medicamentos para reducer la fiebre.

Visitas para jóvenes bajo custodia de OYA en otras instalaciones controladas

Todas las demás instalaciones, a excepción de MacLaren, podrá permitir visitas en las próximas semanas.

MacLaren no podrá permitir visitas hasta que hayan pasado 28 días desde el primer día del último caso positivo del virus.


Friday, June 12

Visiting Update

Youth on OYA Probation or Parole

If your youth is living outside of your home, they may be able to have visitors again soon.

First, the county where their residential program, proctor home, or foster home is located must be in Phase 2 of reopening.

We are still working with Oregon Health Authority to get approval for a visiting plan for these programs. We are close to finishing the plan and should be able to share more next week.

Youth at MacLaren

We still cannot allow visiting at MacLaren because they recently had positive cases of COVID-19 on campus.

MacLaren will not be able to allow visiting until 28 days have passed since the start of their last positive case of the virus.

We’ll keep you updated when we know more.

Youth in Other OYA Secure Facilities

All other facilities are working on plans for visiting to start again sometime in the next few weeks. If the facility goes into quarantine because they have cases of COVID-19, they will stop allowing visitation again.

We will give you the visiting start dates when we have them. We will also let you know who to contact to learn about setting up a visit.

All visits will have to follow these rules:

  1. No physical contact.
  2. Stay six feet apart.
  3. Bring a face covering – they are required.
  4. No symptoms of COVID-19, and your temperature must be below 100.4. We’ll check at the door.

If You Have Had COVID-19

You may still visit your youth, but only if these things are true:

  1. It’s been at least 10 days since your symptoms first appeared; AND
  2. It’s been at least 3 days since you’ve had any symptoms. That includes having a normal temperature without the use of aspirin or other medications that reduce fever.

Update on School

This week, Oregon Department of Education (ODE) released guidelines for reopening Oregon schools in the fall. Schools will need to keep students and teachers a certain distance apart, clean and disinfect their buildings regularly, and keep students in small groups.

OYA’s residential programs that provide school on site will continue to work with ODE to make sure they are following these guidelines.

For OYA correctional and transitional facilities, we’re still not sure what reopening school will look like. The challenges in these schools are different than for schools in the community.

However, we have been talking with ODE leaders about how to safely reopen our facility schools. We hope to be able to share more information soon.


Tuesday, June 2

Reopening: State Agencies to Maintain Status Quo through End of June

This week, the Department of Administrative Services announced that all state agencies would follow the same reopening timeline, instead of following the reopening phases of their counties.

For OYA field offices and Central Office, this means the following guidelines will stay in place through June 30:

  • Teleworking: Employees who have been teleworking should continue to do so as much as possible. When telework options are not possible, everyone must maintain six feet of distance between themselves and others.
  • State Agency Offices Stay Closed to Public: Our offices will continue to serve the public only by phone, online, or with appointments.
  • Travel: Non-essential work travel is still not allowed.

As for OYA’s facilities, our leaders are currently working on additional reopening plans. We will have more information to share soon.


Wednesday, May 27

Update on MacLaren

The good news this week: we’ve had no new youth or staff cases at MacLaren (or anywhere else).

As of today:

  • As we shared previously, three MacLaren staff members have reported they tested positive for COVID-19. One of them is now fully recovered and back at work. The other two team members remain on leave.
  • While multiple youth at MacLaren were tested last week — or retested at their request – none tested positive.
  • We no longer have any youth in medical isolation. The last two youth in medical isolation have recovered and are now in quarantine until June 6 as a precaution.
  • Both of the living units at MacLaren that had been on quarantine status were able to go off quarantine.

Thursday, May 21

Update on MacLaren

More MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility youth were tested for COVID-19 this week, either because they showed symptoms of illness or because they were in close contact with someone who tested positive.

As of today:

  • As we shared previously, three MacLaren staff members have reported they tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Two living units are in quarantine status, which means their youth are not able to leave the living unit until health officials tell us it’s safe to lift the quarantine.
  • Four youth from two different living units are in medical isolation, either because they tested positive for COVID-19 or they showed symptoms of illness. This week, MacLaren leaders have been tracking down and notifying anyone who had close contact with these youth. They’ve also been notifying the youths’ families.
  • Multiple COVID-19 tests are pending for youth on campus. Most of these were from quarantined youth who previously tested negative, but then asked to be retested. We’ll keep you updated if we learn of any new positive cases.

Marion County Enters Phase 1 — OYA Stays the Same

This week, Marion and Polk counties received the go-ahead to enter phase 1 of reopening. However, this does not change the status of any OYA sites in those counties.

  • MacLaren will not be lifting any restrictions while they have youth who have tested positive or are in quarantine.
  • Central Office and the Marion field office will remain closed to the public except by appointment only. Employees in these offices who are teleworking should continue to do so.

Phase 1 Update for Other OYA Sites

Close-Custody Facilities

Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has approved our plan for lifting some restrictions at our facilities, once their county is in Phase 1 and they have received approval from Facility Services leadership.

To get that approval, the facilities must have no positive COVID-19 cases, or sufficient time must have passed since their last case. All facilities except MacLaren have applied and were approved.

Phase 1 for these facilities means they may choose to do the following:

  • Staff who were assigned to specific areas may return to multiple-unit assignments.
  • These people may start coming inside facilities again, if they are screened for symptoms before entering, follow physical distancing requirements, and wear face coverings: contracted psychologists and psychiatrists, religious volunteers, and direct treatment service providers.
  • Youth may participate in treatment, education, work, and volunteer-led religious activities with youth from other living units. Group sizes are limited to 10, and the same 10 youth will be in each group for all off-unit activities.
  • Youth may receive hair care services, following statewide guidelines.
  • Visitation is still not allowed.

Field Offices

As we shared previously, our field offices will keep their current status, even when their counties have entered Phase 1. That means they will stay closed to the public except by appointment only, and employees who are teleworking should continue to do so.

Residential Providers

OYA has asked residential providers to send us their plans for Phase 1. We will review those plans based on guidance from OHA. We are also drafting proposed guidance for OHA review regarding respite for proctor and foster care.

Stay Safe for Memorial Day

The Governor and 26 mayors from across Oregon are asking you to stay local, stay safe, and support local businesses this Memorial Day weekend. If you love the Coast, if you love the Gorge, please be a good neighbor by keeping it local as we build a safe and strong Oregon.

If you wish to participate in a ceremony to honor this holiday, the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs is holding their first-ever Virtual Statewide Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday at 10 a.m. You can find the ceremony on ODVA’s Facebook page.


Tuesday, May 19

Third MacLaren Employee Reports Positive Test

Sunday evening, we learned of a third staff member at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility who reported they had tested positive for COVID-19.

As a result, we took these precautions, under the guidance of Oregon Health Authority:

  • We notified all staff at MacLaren, and any youth who were affected.
  • We tracked any close contacts the employee had with staff or youth on campus. We communicated directly with everyone we identified.

Oregon Supreme Court Puts Hold on Legal Challenge to COVID Executive Orders

On Monday, a Baker County judge issued a preliminary injunction against all of the governor’s COVID-19 executive orders. That includes the stay at home order; the new reopening order; the restrictions on gatherings; any of the restrictions on businesses and other entities; and the moratorium on evictions.

Hours after that injunction, the Oregon Supreme Court issued a stay order while the case is being appealed. That means that the governor’s executive orders remain in force until the court makes a decision or they are lifted by the governor.

Regardless of the legal outcome of the case, OYA will follow the Oregon Health Authority’s guidance on how to keep our youth and staff safe.


Friday, May 15

Two MacLaren Youth Test Positive for COVID-19

Two youth at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility tested positive this week for COVID-19. Neither is showing symptoms of the virus, but we have moved them to medical isolation to help protect everyone else on their living unit.

Both youth live on the same unit. MacLaren staff notified the families of all youth on that living unit about the situation. The entire unit is quarantined, which means the youth have to stay on their unit.

These are the first youth in OYA custody to test positive for COVID-19.

Why These Youth Were Tested

The youth volunteered to take a COVID-19 test after their unit was placed on quarantine due to having close contact with an employee who reported testing positive for COVID-19.

Overall, 12 youth volunteered to take the test. That’s almost all the youth on the unit. Of the 12 who took the test, 10 tested negative.

One youth who declined the COVID-19 test was moved to medical isolation after they showed symptoms of illness. OYA will continue monitoring all youth on this unit for symptoms.

Actions We Took When We Learned About the Positive Cases

  • We tracked any close contacts the youth who tested positive had in the 48 hours before they took the test and during the time when they were waiting for test results. We communicated directly with everyone we identified.
  • Staff who had close contact with the youth must wear a surgical mask and check symptoms twice during their work shift. We have strongly encouraged these staff members to get tested for COVID-19.

Other MacLaren Updates

  • So far, we have had two staff at MacLaren report positive tests for COVID-19. Both stopped coming to work as soon as they noticed symptoms.
  • The quarantine on the only other affected living unit was lifted today (May 15).

Reopening Plan for OYA

The Governor’s Office announced that 31 Oregon counties are able to move into phase 1 for reopening starting today, May 15.

To see the list of each county’s status, and to read all the guidelines for phase 1, go to the governor’s COVID-19 website: https://govstatus.egov.com/reopening-oregon#countyStatuses

Field Offices and Central Office

State officials have advised all state agencies not to reopen their offices to the public until the counties where they are located enter phase 2.

Therefore, OYA’s central and field offices remain closed except for pre-scheduled appointments.

Close-Custody Facilities

MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility will not look at lifting any restrictions until Marion County enters phase 1.

All the rest of our facilities are in counties that are approved for phase 1. At these facilities, we are planning to change some of our restrictions, subject to approval by Oregon Health Authority. We know that we will be keeping our facilities closed to visitors during phase 1.

Community Placements

OYA is consulting with Oregon Health Authority and Department of Human Services about the best reopening plan for our residential programs and foster and proctor homes.

We are working to come up with a plan that keeps our youth, their providers, and the public safe and healthy, while also meeting the guidelines of the state and the counties. We will share more details when we have them.

OYA and Other Agencies Face Budget Challenges

Oregon Youth Authority and all state agencies could be facing some big budget cuts later this year due to the pandemic.

With everything closed because of COVID-19, there is not nearly as much money coming in to the state as usual. As a result, the governor told all state agencies to come up with plans for how to make some really big cuts to their budgets. You can read OYA’s plan here: https://insideoya.com/2020/05/12/oya-budget-cut-exercise/

We won’t know for many months whether we have to actually make these budget cuts. But we expect that if we do have to make them, it will impact the ways we run our programs and care for our youth.

Keeping our youth safe and healthy is our number one priority, followed by providing them the right supports and services for rehabilitation. These priorities will not change, even if we have to cut back certain parts of our agency.

***

Dos pruebas a jóvenes de Maclaren dan positivo a COVID-19

Dos jóvenes en la Correccional Juvenil de MacLaren dieron positivo esta semana a COVID-19. Ninguno de los dos jóvenes muestra síntomas del virus, pero los hemos trasladado y puestos en aislamiento médico para ayudar a proteger a todos los demás en su unidad de vivienda.

Ambos jóvenes viven en la misma unidad. El personal de MacLaren notificó la situación a las familias de todos los jóvenes en esa unidad de vivienda. Toda la unidad está en cuarentena, lo que significa que los jóvenes deben permanecer en su unidad.

Estos son los primeros jóvenes bajo la custodia de OYA en dar positivo por COVID-19.

¿Porque se hicieron pruebas en estos jóvenes?

El mismo joven se ofreció como voluntario para tomar una prueba COVID-19 después de que su unidad fue puesta en cuarentena debido a que tuvo un contacto cercano con un empleado que informó haber dado positivo por COVID-19.

En general, 12 jóvenes se ofrecieron como voluntarios para tomar el examen. Eso es casi todos los jóvenes en la unidad. De los 12 que tomaron la prueba, 10 dieron negativo.

Un joven que rechazó la prueba COVID-19 fue trasladado a un aislamiento médico después de mostrar síntomas de enfermedad. OYA continuará monitoreando a todos los jóvenes en esta unidad para detectar síntomas…

Acciones que tomamos cuando nos enteramos de los casos positivos

• Rastreamos cualquier contacto cercano que los jóvenes que dieron positivo tuvieron en las 48 horas antes de tomar el examen y durante el tiempo en que esperaban los resultados del examen. Nos comunicamos directamente con todos los que identificamos.

• El personal que tuvo contacto cercano con el joven debe usar una máscara quirúrgica y verificar los síntomas dos veces durante su turno de trabajo. Recomendamos altamente a estos miembros del personal a hacerse la prueba de COVID-19.

Otras actualizaciones de MacLaren

  • Hasta ahora, hemos tenido dos miembros del personal de MacLaren que informaron resultados positivos para COVID-19. Ambos dejaron de ir a trabajar tan pronto como notaron síntomas.
  • La cuarentena en la Unidad Haystack se terminó hoy (15 de mayo).

Plan de reapertura de OYA

La Oficina del Gobernador anunció que 31 condados de Oregon pueden pasar a la fase 1 para reabrir a partir de hoy, 15 de mayo.

Para ver la lista del estado de cada condado y leer todas las pautas para la fase 1, vaya al sitio web COVID-19 del gobernador: https://govstatus.egov.com/reopening-oregon#countyStatuses

Oficina central y sucursales

Los funcionarios estatales han aconsejado a todas las agencias estatales que no vuelvan a abrir sus oficinas al público hasta que los condados donde se encuentren entren en la fase 2.

Por lo tanto, las oficinas centrales y sucursales de OYA permanecen cerradas, excepto para citas programadas previamente.

Correccional juvenil

La Correccional Juvenil MacLaren no considerará levantar ninguna restricción hasta que el Condado de Marion ingrese a la fase 1.

El resto de nuestras correccionales se encuentran en condados aprobados para la fase 1. En estas instalaciones, planeamos cambiar algunas de nuestras restricciones, sujetas a la aprobación de la Autoridad de Salud de Oregon. Sabemos que mantendremos nuestras instalaciones cerradas a los visitantes durante la fase 1.

Colocaciones en programas comunitarios

OYA está consultando con la Autoridad de Salud de Oregon y el Departamento de Servicios Humanos sobre el mejor plan de reapertura para nuestros programas residenciales, hogares temporales y de crianza.

Estamos trabajando para elaborar un plan que mantenga a nuestros jóvenes, sus proveedores y al público seguro y saludable, al mismo tiempo que se cumple con las pautas del estado y los condados. Compartiremos más detalles cuando los tengamos.

OYA y otras agencias enfrentan desafíos presupuestarios

La Correccional Juvenil de Oregon y todas las agencias estatales podrían enfrentar algunos recortes presupuestarios importantes a finales de este año debido a la pandemia.

Con todo cerrado debido a COVID-19, no llega tanto dinero al estado como de costumbre. Como resultado, el gobernador les dijo a todas las agencias estatales que elaboraran planes sobre cómo hacer algunos recortes realmente grandes en sus presupuestos. Puedes leer el plan de OYA aquí: https://insideoya.com/2020/05/12/oya-budget-cut-exercise/

Durante muchos meses no sabremos si realmente tenemos que hacer estos recortes presupuestarios. Sin embargo, si tenemos que hacer recortes, esto impactará las formas en que dirigimos nuestros programas y cuidamos a nuestros jóvenes.

Mantener a los jóvenes seguros y saludables es nuestra prioridad número uno, seguido de brindarles los servicios y apoyos adecuados para la rehabilitación. Estas prioridades no cambiarán, incluso si tenemos que recortar ciertas partes de nuestra agencia…


Thursday, May 14

Update on Reopening Plan for OYA

Today, the Governor’s Office announced that 31 Oregon counties are able to move into phase 1 for reopening starting tomorrow, May 15.

To see the list of each county’s status, and to read all the guidelines for phase 1, go to the governor’s COVID-19 website: https://govstatus.egov.com/reopening-oregon#countyStatuses

  • Field Offices and Central Office

Department of Administrative Services has advised all state agencies not to reopen any of their offices to the public until the counties where they are located enter phase 2.

Therefore, OYA’s central and field offices remain closed except for pre-scheduled appointments, and employees at those offices who were already teleworking will continue to do so.

  • Close-Custody Facilities

MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility will not look at lifting any restrictions until Marion County enters phase 1.

All the rest of our facilities are in counties that are approved for phase 1. At these facilities, we are planning to change some of our restrictions, subject to approval by Oregon Health Authority. We know that we will be keeping our facilities closed to visitors during phase 1.

  • Community Placements

OYA is consulting with Oregon Health Authority and Department of Human Services about the best reopening plan for our residential programs and foster and proctor homes.

We are working to come up with a plan that keeps our youth, their providers, and the public safe and healthy, while also meeting the guidelines of the state and the counties. We will share more details when we have them.

A New Resource for Veterans

The Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs has developed a new online Veteran Resource Navigator designed to assist veterans and their families in finding the federal, state and local resources that are helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This tool includes resources that are organized by topic, including economic, health, education, housing, food and other resources. To learn more, go to www.oregon.gov/odva or call 1-800-692-9666.


Wednesday, May 13

MacLaren Youth Tests Positive for COVID-19

A youth on Pacific Unit at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility has tested positive for COVID-19 but is not showing symptoms of the virus. Even though the youth does not appear sick, they have been moved to medical isolation.

This is the first youth in OYA custody to test positive for COVID-19. Their family has been notified.

The youth volunteered to take an optional COVID-19 test last week after their unit was placed on quarantine due to having close contact with an employee who reported testing positive for COVID-19.

Overall, 12 youth on the unit volunteered to take the test. Of the other 11, ten tested negative, and one result is still pending.

One additional youth on the unit was moved today to medical isolation due to showing symptoms of illness. So far, their symptoms are not indicative of COVID-19, but we moved them to medical isolation as an extra precaution. Their family has also been notified.

We will continue monitoring all Pacific youth for signs of illness. As soon as we learned about the one youth’s positive test result:

  • We notified all staff at MacLaren.
  • We began tracking any close contacts the youth had in the 48 hours before they took the test and during the period when they were waiting for test results. We communicated directly with everyone we identified.
  • Staff who had close contact with the youth (which means they were within 6 feet for over 15 minutes) must wear a surgical mask and check symptoms twice during their work shift. We have strongly encouraged these staff members to get tested for COVID-19.
  • We made a second offer of optional COVID-19 testing to the youth on Pacific who had previously declined it.
  • We continue to consult with Oregon Health Authority for guidance.

Reopening Plan for OYA

With counties submitting reopening plans to the governor’s office this week, OYA has been receiving a lot of questions about our agency’s plan.

OYA will not reopen any facilities, field offices, or the Central Office before the county where they are located has entered phase 1.

However, OYA leadership, in consultation with health authorities, have been working on a plan for how we will reopen. We’ll share our plan when it’s finished and approved by Oregon Health Authority, but there are a few things we can tell you now:

  • We will not be allowing in-person visits at youth correctional facilities during our first phase of reopening. We still do not know when we will be able to allow these visits.
  • Facilities will not reopen if they have any positive COVID-19 cases or units under quarantine.
  • Our field offices and Central Office will continue to only be open to the public for pre-scheduled appointments. Employees at these offices who are already teleworking will continue to do so.

Monday, May 11

Second MacLaren Employee Reports Positive Test

On Friday, we learned of a second staff member at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility who reported they had tested positive for COVID-19. The employee has been out of the workplace since they first observed they had symptoms.

As a result, we took these precautions, under the guidance of Oregon Health Authority:

  • On Friday, we notified all staff at MacLaren, and any youth who were affected.
  • We tracked any close contacts the employee had with staff or youth on campus in the 48 hours before they had any symptoms. We communicated directly with everyone we identified.
  • We placed Pacific Unit under quarantine and we are monitoring the youth there for symptoms of the virus. We also offered the youth optional COVID-19 tests, if they wanted them.

So far, we have not had any youth at MacLaren, or anywhere at OYA, test positive for COVID-19. Haystack Unit at MacLaren remains under quarantine as a precaution related to a different employee who reported a positive test last week.

New Safety Guidelines for Facilities Staff

Starting Tuesday, Facility Services is implementing a new procedure requiring all staff in OYA close-custody facilities to:

  • wear face coverings while working with youth and other staff (many staff were already wearing them, but the coverings were not required until now); and
  • maintain a six-foot distance from other staff.

Previously, we had recommended these practices to staff; this new procedure makes those practices a requirement.

There will be some exceptions to the physical distancing restrictions; for example, if staff need to participate in an extended physical intervention or multiple staff are needed to transport youth.

We implemented these practices at the recommendation of OHA officials, who advised us that face coverings and physical distancing are a necessary part of preventing the spread of COVID-19.


Friday, May 8

Coronavirus Update for Families | Actualización del Coronavirus Para Familias

Still No Youth With COVID-19

As of today, we still have not had any youth in our custody diagnosed with COVID-19.

MacLaren Staff Member Reports Positive Test

Last week, a staff member at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility reported to us that they had tested positive for COVID-19. This is the first case we have learned about at MacLaren.

The MacLaren employee stopped coming in to work as soon as they had symptoms.

We also took these precautions, as recommended by the Oregon Health Authority:

  • We tracked down all youth and staff who had contact with the employee in the 48 hours before the employee had symptoms.
  • We placed one living unit under quarantine: Haystack. This means Haystack youth have to stay on their unit for 14 days from the time they last had direct contact with the employee. We are checking their temperatures regularly and keeping an eye out for other symptoms of illness.
  • We found that no other youth outside of Haystack had direct contact with this employee in the 48 hours before the employee showed symptoms.
  • For any staff who had direct contact with the employee in question, we let them know that they can self-quarantine at home if they wish. Many of them chose to do this.
  • If any of them choose not to stay home, they can come to work only if they do not have any symptoms and have not tested positive for COVID-19. They also have to wear a medical mask while they work and check their temperature before they enter MacLaren and again during their work shift.
  • We offered an optional COVID-19 test to any youth on Haystack who wanted it. Ten youth chose to do the test. We’re happy to report all their tests came back with no COVID-19 detected.
  • If any Haystack youth show symptoms of the virus during their unit quarantine, we will move them to our medical isolation area.

If you have a youth at MacLaren and want to know more, your best option is to reach out to their case coordinator.

Governor’s Reopening Plan

Thursday, the governor announced a plan for starting to reopen Oregon beginning May 15.

On that date, these things will be able to reopen statewide, if they follow safety guidelines around cleaning and physical distancing:

  • Childcare facilities, with priority for childcare going to essential workers
  • Summer school, summer camps and other youth programs
  • Stand-alone retail stores that were previously closed: furniture stores, art galleries, jewelry stores, and boutiques.

After that, other things can start to reopen only when these things are true for their county:

  • The number of people with new COVID-19 infections has dropped for two weeks or there are less than five COVID-19 hospitalizations.
  • There is enough safety equipment for doctors and healthcare workers.
  • There are enough hospital beds to care for people with COVID-19.
  • Tests are available and there is a way to track COVID-19.

You can read more about the reopening plan on the governor’s COVID-19 website: https://govstatus.egov.com/or-covid-19

So what does this mean for OYA? The short answer is: We don’t know yet. Our agency leaders are already discussing the phased reopening and how it will impact OYA. We hope to be able to share more details sometime next week.

How to Stay Connected with Your Youth

We know it can be difficult to feel connected with your youth when you’re not able to visit them in person.

But it’s more important now than ever to stay connected. It’s hard for them to lose the chance to visit with you in person. And many of them are wondering whether their family members are safe and healthy.

Here are some meaningful ways for you to stay connected to your youth:

  • Let their case coordinator or other members of their treatment team know when you are available for video calls. We are doing our best to get these scheduled as quickly and as often as possible.
  • Send letters and photos. Please remember to follow the mail guidelines for your youth’s facility or program. If you don’t know the guidelines, your youth’s juvenile parole/probation officer (JPPO) or case coordinator can share them with you.
  • Sometimes we don’t know what to say during stressful or difficult times. During video or phone calls, consider the types of questions you normally ask to show that you care, such as:
    • What is going well?
    • What are you looking forward to?
    • What are you struggling with?
    • How can I support you?
  • Provide words of encouragement and assurance. Give them updates on how everyone in the family is doing.
  • Participate in treatment planning meetings and multi-disciplinary team (MDT) meetings.
  • If your youth is in an OYA youth correctional facility or transition camp, consider the Amazon Wish lists we have set up. These lists include items that youth and staff have requested to help them pass the time. You can find all the active wish lists at this link: www.insideoya.com/2020/04/21/wish-lists-for-youth

Do You Have Questions?

If you have questions, email them to us at OYA.Communications@oya.state.or.us and we will try to answer them in future updates.

Your best source for updates on your youth is to talk with their juvenile parole/probation officer (JPPO) or their case coordinator if they are in a facility.

Español

Hola a todos,

Esta es la tercera actualización del COVID-19 para los familiares de jóvenes bajo la custodia de la Correccional de Oregon (OYA por sus siglas en inglés).

Hasta el momento no hay jóvenes con COVID-19

Hasta el día de hoy, todavía no hemos tenido ningún joven bajo nuestra custodia diagnosticado con COVID-19.

Un miembro del personal de MacLaren reporto que dio positivo a esta prueba

La semana pasada, un miembro del personal de la Correccional Juvenil MacLaren nos informó que habían dado positivo al COVID-19. Este es el primer caso que conocemos en MacLaren.

El empleado de MacLaren dejó de venir a trabajar tan pronto tuvo síntomas.

También tomamos estas precauciones, según lo recomendado por la Autoridad de Salud de Oregon:

  • Localizamos a todos los jóvenes y al personal que tuvieron contacto con el empleado 48 horas antes de que el empleado tuviera síntomas.
  • Pusimos una unidad de vivienda bajo cuarentena: Haystack. Esto significa que los jóvenes de Haystack deben permanecer en la unidad durante 14 días desde la última vez que tuvieron contacto directo con el empleado.Monitoreamos sus temperaturas regularmente y estamos atentos a otros síntomas de enfermedad.
  • Descubrimos que ningún otro joven fuera de Haystack tuvo contacto cercano con el empleado en las 48 horas antes de que mostraran síntomas.
  • Para cualquier empleado que haya tenido contacto cercano. con el empleado en cuestión, les hacemos saber que pueden ponerse en cuarentena en casa si así lo desean. Muchos de ellos optaron por hacer esto.
  • Si alguno de ellos elige no quedarse en casa, pueden venir a trabajar solo si no tienen ningún síntoma y no han dado positivo por COVID-19. También tienen que usar una máscara médica mientras trabajan y controlar su temperatura antes de ingresar a MacLaren y nuevamente durante su turno de trabajo.
  • Ofrecimos una prueba COVID-19 opcional a los jóvenes en Haystack si los quisiera. Diez jóvenes decidieron hacer la prueba. Nos complace informar que todas las pruebas regresaron sin detectar COVID-19.
    • Si alguno de los jóvenes en Haystack muestra síntomas del virus, los trasladaremos a nuestra área de aislamiento médico.

Si tiene un joven en MacLaren y quiere saber más, su mejor opción es comunicarse con su coordinador de casos.

Plan de reapertura del gobernador

Ayer, la gobernadora anunció un plan para comenzar a reabrir el estado de Oregon a partir del día 15 de mayo.

En esa fecha, estos lugares podrán reabrir en todo el estado, si siguen las pautas de seguridad sobre limpieza y distanciamiento físico:

  • Instalaciones de cuidado infantil, con prioridad para cuidado infantil para trabajadores esenciales
  • Escuela de verano, campamentos de verano y otros programas para jóvenes
  • Tiendas minoristas independientes que anteriormente estaban cerradas: tiendas de muebles, galerías de arte, joyerías y boutiques.

Después de eso, otros negocios pueden comenzar a reabrirse solo cuando estas medidas son ciertas para su condado:

  • La cantidad de personas con nuevas infecciones por COVID-19 ha disminuido durante dos semanas o hay menos de cinco hospitalizaciones por COVID-19.
  • Hay suficiente equipo de seguridad para médicos y trabajadores de la salud.
  • Hay suficientes camas de hospital para atender a las personas con COVID-19.
  • Las pruebas están disponibles y hay una manera de rastrear COVID-19.

Puede leer más sobre el plan de reapertura en el sitio web COVID-19 del gobernador: https: https://govstatus.egov.com/or-covid-19

Entonces, ¿qué significa esto para OYA? La respuesta corta es: aún no lo sabemos. Los líderes de nuestra agencia ya están discutiendo la reapertura gradual y cómo afectará a OYA. Esperamos poder compartir más detalles en algún momento de la próxima semana.

Cómo mantenerse en contacto con los jóvenes

Sabemos que puede ser difícil sentirse conectado con su joven cuando no puede visitarlos en persona.

Pero ahora es más importante que nunca mantenerse conectado. Es difícil para ellos perder la oportunidad de visitarlo en persona. Y muchos de ellos se preguntan si los miembros de su familia están seguros y saludables.

Aquí hay algunas maneras significativas para mantenerse conectado con su joven:

  • Informe a su coordinador de casos u otros miembros de su equipo de tratamiento cuando esté disponible para realizar videollamadas. Estamos haciendo todo lo posible para programarlos lo más rápido y con la mayor frecuencia posible.
  • Enviar cartas y fotos. Recuerde seguir las pautas de correo para las instalaciones o el programa de su hijo. Si no conoce las pautas, el oficial de libertad condicional / libertad condicional (JPPO) o el coordinador del caso de su hijo pueden compartirlas con usted.
  • A veces no sabemos qué decir en momentos estresantes o difíciles. Durante las videollamadas o las llamadas telefónicas, considere los tipos de preguntas que normalmente hace para demostrar que le importan, como:
    • ¿Qué está yendo bien?
    • ¿Que estás esperando?
    • ¿Con qué estás luchando?
    • ¿Cómo puedo apoyarte?
  • Proporcione palabras de aliento y seguridad. Bríndeles actualizaciones sobre cómo les va a todos en la familia.
  • Participe en reuniones de planificación del tratamiento y reuniones del equipo multidisciplinario (MDT por sus siglas en Inglés).
  • Si su joven se encuentra en un centro correccional juvenil de OYA o en un campamento de transición, considere las listas de deseos de Amazon que hemos establecido. Estas listas incluyen artículos que los jóvenes y el personal han solicitado para ayudarlos a pasar el tiempo. Puede encontrar todas las listas de deseos activas en este enlace: insideoya.com/2020/04/21/wish-lists-for-youth

¿Tienes preguntas?
Sí tiene preguntas, mándelas a la siguiente dirección electrónica OYA.Communications@oya.state.or.us y trataremos de darles respuestas en las actualizaciones futuras.

La mejor manera de obtener actualizaciones acerca de los jóvenes es platicando con los oficiales de libertad condicional/probatoria o el coordinador del caso en las diversas unidades.


Friday, May 8

Update on Quarantined Youth at MacLaren

We told you earlier this week that one living unit at MacLaren YCF was placed under quarantine after we learned about a staff member who reported a positive COVID-19 test.

On Wednesday, we offered optional COVID-19 tests for any of the quarantined youth who wanted it. Ten youth chose to do the test. Today, we are happy to report that we learned that all of those tests came back with no COVID-19 detected.

Therefore, as of today, we can still report that no OYA youth have tested positive for COVID-19.


Tuesday, May 5

Update on MacLaren

Yesterday, we shared that a MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility employee reported to OYA that they tested positive for COVID-19. The staffer is currently out of the workplace and recovering at home.

We wanted to share a few updates from today:

  • We lifted the quarantine for one of the two units that had been under quarantine, based on guidance from Oregon Health Authority. The other unit remains under quarantine.
  • MacLaren leaders have worked hard over the past two days to trace all youth and staff who may have had contact with the employee in the 48 hours prior to them seeing symptoms. Campus leaders have directly contacted everyone they know might be affected to talk about options for them moving forward.

Governor Extends State of Emergency

A few days ago, Gov. Brown announced that she was extending Oregon’s state of emergency to July 6. The previous executive order declaring a state of emergency had been set to expire May 7.

There has been some confusion out there as to what this announcement means. It does not mean the governor is automatically extending Oregon’s stay-home order through July.

Extending the state of emergency simply gives the governor the legal authority to maintain all the coronavirus-related orders issued so far, and issue new ones if needed. You can read more about the executive order and Oregon’s plans for reopening on the OHA COVID-19 website.


Monday, May 4

Employee at MacLaren Reports Positive Test for COVID-19

This morning, a MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility employee reported to OYA that they tested positive for COVID-19. We cannot share their identity, because that is protected health information. However, the staffer is currently out of the workplace.

As a result of hearing about the positive test, we have taken these precautions:

  • We notified the entire MacLaren campus this morning.
  • Per Oregon Health Authority guidance, we are currently tracking any contacts the employee may have had with staff or youth on campus in the 48 hours before they had any symptoms. We initially believed we needed to track contacts for the 96 hours before the employee had symptoms, but OHA advised us that we only need to track contacts for 48 hours.
  • We will communicate directly with any staff we identify who had contact with the staffer.
  • Two living units are under quarantine. OHA is currently reviewing that status for one of the units.

Facility leaders and Health Services are consulting closely with Oregon Health Authority about this case, and we will continue to follow OHA’s direction for next steps.


Friday, May 1

Coronavirus Update for Families | Actualización del Coronavirus Para Familias

This is our second COVID-19 update for families of youth in Oregon Youth Authority (OYA) custody.

No Cases of COVID-19 at OYA

As of today, we still have not had any youth in our custody diagnosed with COVID-19.

Also, we do not know of any current cases of COVID-19 among our staff.

New Coronavirus Symptoms

The Centers for Disease Control updated their list of symptoms that might be COVID-19. We shared information with youth this week about the new list.

People with these symptoms or combinations of symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell that you didn’t have before

Making Sure Staff are Healthy

Everyone who enters our youth correctional facilities or transition camps must screen themselves for COVID-19 symptoms before entering.

We are telling them not to come inside if they have symptoms of coronavirus, have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or have been medically mandated by their health care provider to stay home.

We also have thermometers at all facility entrances so people can check their temperature before entering. If they have a fever of 100.4 or higher, they cannot come in.

At residential programs, managers are advising staff to stay home if they are experiencing any symptoms. They have educated staff about physical distancing, cleaning spaces regularly, and regular handwashing.

Visiting

We still don’t have a date for when we can allow our youth to have visitors or do home visits again. Health officials told OYA that we still need to suspend visiting for now.

Even though a few things are starting to re-open in the community, it will still be a slow and gradual process to open everything. We know that visits are important to you, so we will keep you posted on when we can allow them again.

School

The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) said that we will be able to have teachers come back into our youth correctional facilities and transition camps soon. This only applies to teachers who are not medically vulnerable. We don’t have a start date yet, but we hope it will be soon.

We will do multiple things to keep students and teachers healthy and safe. That includes keeping everyone six feet apart and having fewer students in each class.

At our residential programs, staff have been helping youth adjust to remote learning. The staff at these programs are working closely with local school districts and ODE to ensure they meet the youths’ educational needs.

Medical Appointments

Last week, the governor said doctors in the community could start seeing patients again for non-urgent things, such as certain surgical procedures, getting glasses, dental procedures, and follow-up medical appointments.

Doctors’ offices must have things in place to keep their workers and patients safe. Many require people to wear face coverings before they’re allowed inside.

We are working to set up these appointments for youth who need them. But not every health care location is open yet, so we’re only scheduling for places that are.

See What Youth Are Doing

On our blog and on social media, we frequently shares news and photos of what our youth are doing.

Do You Have Questions?

If you have questions, email them to us at OYA.Communications@oya.state.or.us and we will try to answer them in future updates.

Your best source for updates on your youth is to talk with their juvenile parole/probation officer (JPPO) or their case coordinator if they are in a facility.

***

Esta es la segunda actualización del COVID-19 para los familiares de jóvenes bajo la custodia de la Correccional de Oregon (OYA).

No existen casos de COVID-19 en OYA

Hasta el día de hoy, no tenemos ningún jóven diagosticado con COVID-19.

De igual manera, no tenemos conocimiento de casos de COVID-19 entre nuestro personal.

Nuevos Sintomas del Coronavirus

Los centros de control y prevención de enfermedades han actualizado su lista de síntomas que pueden ser relacionadas al COVID-19. Esta semana hemos compartido dicha información con los jóvenes acerca de la lista nueva.

Las personas con estos síntomas o combinaciones de síntomas pueden tener COVID-19:

  • Tos
  • Dificultades respiratorias
  • Fiebre
  • Refriado
  • Dolor muscular
  • Dolor de cabeza
  • Dolor de garganta
  • Perdida del sabor u olfato que no padecía anteriormente

Asegurandonos de la salud de nuestro personal

Todo el que ingresa a las instalaciones de la correcional o unidades de transición deben verificar la ausencia de los sintomas del COVID-19 antes de su ingreso.

Se les ha informado que no deben ingresar si tienen síntomas del coronavirus, si han sido diagnosticados con COVID-19 o si se les ha indicado por su médico que se queden en casa.

También tenemos termómetros en la entrada de nuestras instituciones para verificar la temperatura de las personas antes de su ingreso. Sí tienen una temperatura de 100.4 o más no podrán entrar.

En los programas residenciales, los directores están solicitando a su personal que se queden en casa si experimentan cualquiera de los síntomas. Ellos han educado a su personal acerca de mantener la distancia física, limpieza de espacios de manera regular y el lavado de manos continuo.

Visitas

Todavía no tenemos fecha para permitir visitas a los jóvenes o visitas domiciliarias de nuevo. Los oficiales de la salud han solicitado a OYA el seguir manteniendo las visitas suspendidas por ahora.

A pesar de que en la comunidad se han estado reabriendo algunas cosas, será de manera lenta y gradual el proceso para las reaperturas totales de todo lo demás. Sabemos que las visitas son importantes para usted, entonces le diremos cuándo podemos permitirlas nuevamente.

Escuela

El Departamento de Educación de Oregon (ODE) ha informado que loa maestros podrán regresar pronto a nuestras correccionales y unidades de transición. Lo anterior sólo aplica a maestros que no sean medicamente vulnerables. No tenemos una fecha de inicio todavía pero esperamos que será pronto.

Haremos cosas múltiples a efecto de mantener a los maestros y jóvenes sanos y seguros. Lo que incluye mantenerlos a seis pies de distancia y menos estudiantes en cada clase.

En nuestros programas residenciales, el personal ha estado ayudando a los jóvenes en su aprendizaje  de manera remota. El personal en éstos programas están trabajando muy de cerca con los distritos escolares y el Departamento de educación para asegurarse que los jóvenes completen sus necesidades de educación.

Citas médicas

La semana pasada, la gobernadora indicó que los doctores de la comunidad podrán ver a sus pacientes nuevamente para situaciones no urgentes, como ciertos procedimientos quirúrgicos, obtención de lentes, procedimientos dentales, y citas médicas.

Las oficinas médicas deberán implementar medidas para mantener la seguridad de personal y pacientes. Muchos lugares requieren que las personas utilicen mascarillas antes de ingresar.

Nosotros estamos trabajando en la realización de citas médicas para los jóvenes que lo necesiten. Sin embargo, no todas las oficinas médicas han abierto aún, por lo que sólo lo estamos haciendo con las oficinas abiertas.

Observe lo que los jóvenes hacen

En nuestro blog y redes sociales, de maner frecuente compartimos noticias y fotos de lo que hacen los jóvenes.

¿Tienes preguntas?

Sí tiene preguntas, mándelas a la siguiente dirección electrónica OYA.Communications@oya.state.or.us y trataremos de darles respuestas en las actualizaciones futuras.

La mejor manera de obtener actualizaciones acerca de los jóvenes es platicando con los oficiales de libertad condicional/probatoria o el coordinador del caso en las diversas unidades.


Monday, April 27

Wish List for Camp Riverbend

We have added a new Amazon wish list for Camp Riverbend Youth Transitional Facility in La Grande.

The wish list contains items that our youth or staff are requesting to help keep the youth engaged and occupied during this time.

Please make sure to read all the guidelines at the top of the list before ordering.

Here is the link: https://bit.ly/RiverbendList


Thursday, April 23

Wish List for Oak Creek YCF and YWTP

We have added a new Amazon wish list for Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility and Young Women’s Transition Program in Albany.

The wish list contains items that our youth or staff are requesting to help keep the youth engaged and occupied during this time.

Please make sure to read all the guidelines at the top of the list before ordering.

Here is the link: https://bit.ly/OakCreekList.


Tuesday, April 21

Wish List for Eastern Oregon YCF

We have added a new Amazon wish list for Eastern Oregon Youth Correctional Facility in Burns.

The wish list contains items that our youth or staff are requesting to help keep the youth engaged and occupied during this time.

Please make sure to read all the guidelines at the top of the list before ordering.

Here is the link: https://bit.ly/EasternWishList


Monday, April 20

Wish List for Camp Tillamook

We have added a new Amazon wish list for Camp Tillamook.

The wish list contains items that our youth or staff are requesting to help keep the youth engaged and occupied during this time.

Here is the link: https://bit.ly/CampTillamookList

Please make sure to read all the guidelines at the top of the list before ordering.


Thursday, April 16

How OYA Is Keeping Youth in Its Facilities Safe

We’ve gotten questions from families about what OYA is doing to keep youth in our facilities safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. So we put together a run-down here: https://bit.ly/OYA-COVID-safe. As of today, we can still say that no youth have tested positive for COVID-19, and we’re confident that’s due in no small measure to the steps our staff and youth are taking to stay safe.

COVID-19: Considering Youth for Early Parole

We have also gotten several questions about whether OYA will arrange for the early parole of its youth due to the pandemic. We’ve put together a brief article that highlights what we’re doing surrounding this topic: https://bit.ly/youth-early-parole.

Federal Relief Checks for Youth

Will working youth in close-custody facilities receive a federal relief check? We are not aware of any reason why these youth would not be eligible. As far as we know, they need to have filed a tax return, possess a valid social security number, and not be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s return. The IRS is mailing checks to the address on record.

The IRS has set up a website for anyone to check on the status of their relief check: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment.


Wednesday, April 15

Safety Precautions are Working

As of today, OYA still has no confirmed cases of COVID-19 among our youth. We’ve only heard about one case among those working at our facilities, and that person has since recovered.

We want to extend a big thank-you to all the staff and youth who have been vigilant about hand-washing, physical distancing, and coughing or sneezing into tissues or the crooks of their elbows.


Thursday, April 9

Budget Outlook

The COVID-19 pandemic and the associated economic slowdown has changed the state’s budget outlook.  The state economist expects the state’s revenue forecast to drop significantly in May.

As a result, the Governor’s Office and Department of Administrative Services (DAS) officials have directed agencies to slow down non-critical spending. That includes holding non-critical positions vacant.

We’re still figuring out what this will look like for OYA. We’ll also have a better picture once the May revenue forecast comes out.

What Does Medical Isolation Look Like?

If youth are getting tested for COVID-19 or have the virus, they have to be in “medical isolation.”

The term can be confusing, because youth in our secure facilities who are violent or are threatening violence are sent to “isolation”.

But medical isolation is different. Every facility has set up a separate area for medical isolation. In some cases, like at MacLaren and Eastern Oregon, the facility has set aside an entire empty living unit. In other cases, like at Oak Creek and Rogue Valley, medical isolation is located in a multipurpose room. (See below for examples from Oak Creek and Riverbend.)

If youth have to be medically isolated, they are not placed in a small isolation room where they can’t come out. Instead, they have access to the day room and bathroom/shower areas, and they also get to bring some personal items with them. The goal is to keep youth comfortable.

OC-medical-isolation
IMG950089

Wednesday, April 8

New Link for MacLaren Wish List

Thank you to everyone who has donated items to MacLaren through the Amazon wish list. We really appreciate your generosity! Donations started arriving last week and the staff and youth are very thankful to have them!

We had to change the link for the wish list, in case you wanted to check it out yourself or share it with others: https://bit.ly/MacLarenlist

Please make sure to the read the guidelines at the top of the list before you order. Thanks again for your continued support!


Tuesday, April 7

Guidance on Cloth Face Coverings

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) changed its recommendations on April 3 to encourage cloth face coverings for anyone working outside of a health care setting where six feet of distancing cannot be maintained (such as in a grocery store or pharmacy).

Medical-grade masks still need to be reserved for youth in quarantine or medical isolation and staff working with those youth. However, employees who must be physically present at their worksites are welcome to bring their own cloth face coverings.

Wearing these cloth face coverings does not protect you from COVID-19, but it reduces the chance of you spreading germs to someone else.

Also, wearing a cloth face covering does not mean you can ignore previous guidance. Continue to wash your hands regularly, follow physical distancing guidelines, minimize sharing and/or touching of objects, cover your coughs and sneezes, and stay home from work while sick. You must also change and wash your face coverings as soon as they become moist or soiled.

Several efforts are currently happening to get hand-made face coverings out to our staff and youth at OYA facilities:

  • We have ordered 3,000 of these face coverings from Oregon Corrections Enterprises, and they are scheduled to arrive next week.
  • Sanya Kite in Facility Services passed along an easy no-sew face covering tutorial that only uses a bandanna and two rubber bands (thanks, Sanya!). Facility Services has ordered enough supplies to make these coverings for all youth and staff at all OYA facilities. The supplies should be arriving late next week and distributed so that youth can make the coverings.
  • The mother of a youth at our Tillamook site worked with her quilting group to make and donate face coverings for all the youth at that site. Also, the Tillamook County Face Mask Project donated these coverings for staff there.
  • At Rogue Valley, two inspired employees and a handful of youth are working this week on making about 200 face coverings for the facility’s youth and staff.

Intake Changes at MacLaren

We have created a new intake process for male youth to keep all new intakes and youth with parole violations in a holding area for a 14-day period to make sure they don’t have any symptoms of COVID-19 before we release them into the general population. The process involves emptying out one of the current intake units by moving some current youth to other placements at our facilities, and then using the empty unit as the holding area for new intakes.

Below is Facility Services Assistant Director Clint McClellan’s full update on the intake plan to this email. It’s a complicated plan with a lot of moving parts, and we are thankful to all the staff who are working toward making this plan happen.

Hello,

I hope you and your families are well. This is a tough time for everyone, and I appreciate the professionalism and dedication you and your co-workers are showing every day.

I am writing to get everyone up to speed on our recent efforts to create a new intake process for our male population. The recommendation from the medical world is that we keep all new intakes and PV’s in a holding area for a 14-day period, the incubation period of the virus, to make sure they don’t have any symptoms of COVID-19 before we release them into the general population.

Unfortunately, this isn’t possible for intakes at Oak Creek. But we can make it happen for the rest of the system.

Clearing Out One Intake Unit

This is easier said than done, obviously. In order for this to happen, we need to empty out one of our intake units at MacLaren.

Here’s how we’re doing that: We’re moving enough current youth out of both Maple and Noble so that we can combine the remaining youth in one unit. Our goal is to get them into their new placements by the close of business Wednesday, April 9. That will leave one empty intake unit we can use for enacting a 14-day hold on the new intake and PV youth as they come in.

Impact on Other Facilities

This will impact other facilities in our system significantly, because it will increase the rate at which new youth arrive in their facilities for the time being. It will also set a new standard for quickly processing intake youth as they arrive. Screenings and assessments will need to happen quickly, especially for the first month or two.

Operational Impacts at MacLaren

Implementing this plan will create operational issues that we need to be prepared for. We will be mixing PV youth with new intakes and managing all the conflicts that may occur with no options to separate youth beyond an IU placement or a temporary reprieve at STEPS.

We recognize that’s not ideal. However, we have made the decision to move forward, in order to reduce the risk of having the virus enter the population in our facilities.

There’s little we can do about the fact that staff members coming and going at our facilities also risk introducing the virus. But the 14-day hold on intake and PV youth is something we can do to minimize this risk. This effort is important and doable.

How We Will Make It Happen

  • Over the next six days, we will move male youth out of intake to units at other facilities and at MacLaren. Then we will combine the remaining intake youth into Noble living unit.
  • That same day, we will open the doors for all new intake and PV youth to come to Maple. Maple will remain open to new youth until enough arrive to make it operationally effective to stop taking new youth.
  • During that same period, we will be drawing down the numbers at Noble until we can empty that unit. Intake youth would move out to appropriate placements at MacLaren and other facilities, and PV youth would move to Summit to finish their PV program.
  • We will then close Maple to new youth for 14 days to make sure none of the youth there are showing symptoms of the virus. During this time, all new intake and PV youth would start going to Noble instead.
  • After the 14 days, we will move all the youth out of Maple to other appropriate placements. Simultaneously, we will close the door to new youth on Noble for 14 days.
  • Then we will repeat the process.

We know this can be confusing and complex, so we’ve included the graphic below to help you wrap your head around it.

Copy of For facilities 3

In this process we will also be trying to even out the population at all facilities. The goal is to get all 25-bed living units down to a population of 21 or fewer. This is meant to assist with social distancing and improve the morale and quality of life for those units managing numbers higher than that. Currently, outside of the Valley units at MacLaren, our numbers are balanced. Those units will be the areas of focus as we attempt to reach this goal.

Reducing Population on Male Units

The field will also have a hand in supporting the process. They will have to make adjustments to having their youth placed out of region. They will also be working to parole more youth where appropriate, and divert others from having their parole revoked.

Speed Matters

Both the new intake process and the balancing of the population throughout facilities need to happen quickly. We hope no staff or youth become ill with COVID-19, but if anyone does, this plan could rapidly become nearly impossible to achieve. Unit quarantines and placing youth in medical isolation may stall the process and force us to look at different options.

Please be patient and supportive of the people who will be shouldering this effort. This will not be an easy task, but I have seen us do some amazing things in the last few weeks that give me great confidence that if we work together, we will make it happen.

Thanks,

Clint McClellan
Assistant Director, Facility Services

Thank You from Governor

Gov. Kate Brown recently put out a video thanking health care heroes and workers in long-term care facilities who are on the front lines of this pandemic. Thank you for doing your part to continue keeping Oregonians healthy and safe.


Thursday, April 2

COVID-19 Testing Update

Last week, we learned of a case of COVID-19 at an OYA facility. The case was with someone who worked at our Tillamook site who reported they had tested positive.

Youth who were in contact with that person are in quarantine and none have shown symptoms of COVID-19.

Parents of the affected youth have been notified.

OYA does not have any confirmed cases of COVID-19 among youth.

Communications on COVID Testing

We are changing the way we share information on testing for COVID-19. When staff report to us they are getting tested, or when we know a youth is getting tested, we will continue making sure that those at their site who may be affected are aware of what’s going on. But we won’t post here unless we have a report of a positive test.*

It’s difficult to report exact numbers of who is getting tested among our staff, because we’re relying on self-reporting and we may not have all the information. Plus, we want to do all that we can to protect the privacy of our staff and our youth, particularly if they or their families are going through a difficult time regarding health decisions.

*UPDATE ON JUNE 2020: We have changed our practice again, in order to be more responsive to families and community stakeholders. We now report on youth who have been placed in medical isolation or quarantine for COVID-related reasons, even in the absence of a positive test result.

Take Care of Your Mental Health

Fear and anxiety are normal reactions to what has become a very abnormal situation. We are all better at managing stress when we stay connected with our friends and people we love, take care of our physical wellbeing (eat well, exercise, get plenty of rest), and limit how much news coverage of the virus we consume.

It’s understandable if you are noticing heightened levels of stress in your life right now. Watch out for these common signs of distress:

  • Feelings of numbness
  • Disbelief, anxiety, or fear
  • Changes in appetite
  • Energy and activity levels
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty sleeping or nightmares and upsetting thoughts or images
  • Physical reactions, such as headaches, body pains, stomach problems and skin rashes
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Anger or short temper
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs

We encourage you to seek help if needed. If stress affects your daily life for several days or weeks, connect by phone or online to a clergy member, counselor, or health care provider.

You can also contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration helpline at 1-800-985-5990.

State employees can call counselors 24/7 via the Employee Assistance Program. Initial sessions are free. Call them at 503-639-3009 (Portland), 503-588-0777 (Salem), or 800-433-2320 (toll free).


Friday, March 27

Amazon Wish List for MacLaren

April 8: Please note, the link below has been updated.

We have added a second Amazon wish list, this one for the youth at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility in Woodburn.

This is a way for you to help support our youth during this tough time by donating items to help them stay engaged and occupied. Items include art supplies, games, and movies.

Make sure to read the rules at the top before you order: https://bit.ly/MacLarenlist.


Thursday, March 26

Amazon Wish List for Rogue Valley

If you’re wondering about ways to support our youth during this time, we have set up an Amazon wish list for Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility in Grants Pass.

The list is full of items to help keep them engaged and occupied — they really need it right now because they can’t go to school, volunteers can’t come in to run all the same programs, and they can’t have in-person visits.

Consider purchasing something, if you want to help. Make sure to read the rules at the top first: https://bit.ly/RogueValleyYCF.


Wednesday, March 25

COVID-19 Tests Among Youth and Staff

(UPDATE April 2: All the youth and staff listed below have tested negative.)

At this time, we have no known cases of COVID-19 among OYA youth or staff.

We do have several known instances of testing for COVID-19:

  • Two youth at a contracted residential program in the community are being tested this week. This is at a different program from the one we mentioned previously. One youth’s test already came back negative, and we’re still waiting for the result of the other test. Both youth have been in medical isolation since Monday and will remain there until health officials tell us this is no longer necessary.
  • Three OYA facility staff are currently being tested. The staff are self-quarantined at home for now and will be keeping us updated as they hear test results. We are working to determine whom these staff may have been in contact with and whether any youth would need to be quarantined.

Home Visits and Respite Care Suspended for Community Youth

Today, OYA suspended home visits for youth who are at community residential programs.

Additionally, OYA foster homes and contracted proctor care homes may not do respite care at this time. Respite care is when youth in foster or proctor care temporarily go to a different home in order to give their regular care providers a break.

Both decisions were in response to this week’s executive order from the governor directing everyone to minimize travel, as a way to help contain and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

These were tough decisions for us, because we know how important family visits are for youths’ well-being and rehabilitation. We also know how important respite care can be for foster and proctor families.

We are encouraging residential programs to allow youth more phone calls and video visits when possible, and our staff are continuing to support foster and proctor families through this time.

Update on School Closures

Currently, the districts running the schools inside OYA facilities have closed those schools until April 1. We’ve been receiving questions about whether the closures will be extended through the end of April.

OYA leaders have been consulting daily with Oregon Department of Education, which oversees the facility education program, to hear their guidance and interpretation of the governor’s executive order around school closures. Those discussions are continuing this week and we hope to have more guidance to share soon.

Education is an important part of our youths’ rehabilitation, so we will keep working closely with our education partners to see how programs will be provided to our youth.

MacLaren Accepts Youth Trust Account Money By Mail Only

Due to current facility access restrictions, MacLaren is currently only accepting money for youth trust accounts in the mail. Families will be able to leave money at the gatehouse after visitation is reinstated.

Families should send money in the form of a check. We do not recommend mailing cash. To help make sure money gets to the youth, please put their full legal name and living unit on the envelope.

Only those on a youth’s approved contacts list can put money on a youth’s account.

Youth may use money in their accounts to buy items from the facility canteen or personal items through the mail.


Tuesday, March 24

Clarification on Screening at Facility Entrances

We received several questions regarding yesterday’s communication about the screenings at the entrances to OYA facilities.

The screenings are an additional way for us to tell staff and contractors not to come inside if:

  • they have a cough, fever, or shortness of breath;
  • they have been diagnosed with COVID-19; or
  • they have been medically mandated by their healthcare provider to stay home.

We have posted new signs at all facility entrances with these questions, and there will be an area near those entrances where everyone must sign and date that they comply. To be clear, we are not asking health services staff to conduct the screenings.

We are directing staff and contractors not to enter if they answer yes to any of the screening questions.

Guidance from State Police

The Oregon State Police released a great FAQ today with answers to all the questions they’ve been receiving relating to how the governor’s “Stay Home, Save Lives” directive will be enforced.

Among other things, they note that they will not be pulling over drivers out on the roads for things related to the executive order. (They will, however, still stop drivers who are committing crimes or traffic violations.)

Their entire FAQ is posted on the Oregon State Police Facebook page.

Stay Home, Save Lives — and Stay Calm

We know that many essential staff are not able to stay home from work, but we did want to re-emphasize the governor’s guidance to “Stay Home, Save Lives” whenever possible outside of reporting to work.

We know that this directive is not easy, but if everyone does their part, we can help prevent spread of the virus. We’re all in this together!

And if you need another idea for how to calm your nerves during this time, try these amazing live webcams we discovered from Monterey Bay Aquarium. You can watch sea otters, jellyfish, fish, and more! https://www.montereybayaquarium.org/animals/live-cams/


Monday, March 23

Governor Issues Order to “Stay Home, Save Lives”

Gov. Kate Brown issued an executive order today directing all Oregonians to stay home as much as possible. The order adds more businesses to the list of what must close, including malls, gyms, hair salons, theaters, and state offices. You can read more details on the governor’s coronavirus website: https://coronavirus.oregon.gov/.

OYA is still determining what all the parts of the order will mean for our operations.

We do know that any staff designated as “essential” still need to report to work. Staff who have worked out a telecommuting option with their managers may continue to do this. Any staff with questions about what the order means for their position should talk with their manager.

We’ve gotten a few questions from OYA staff wondering if they might be stopped by police when trying to go to work. The Department of Administrative Services has advised us that law enforcement will be focused on preventing gatherings and making sure business are following directives to close, so state employees should not be concerned about being pulled over while traveling to and from work.

We recognize that all the restrictions are not easy. However, if everyone does their part, we can help prevent spread of the virus. We’re all in this together!

Central Office and Field Offices Closed to Public

Part of the governor’s latest order is for all state agencies to close their offices or buildings to the public when possible.

Effective March 24, the public will not be able to come in to OYA’s Central Office or field offices until we are told otherwise. The offices are still open to employees, but in-person interactions between staff and the public need to be by appointment only.

We are in the process of posting appropriate signage, including information about how to contact OYA for services.

Youth at Residential Program Test Negative for COVID-19

We are happy to report that both youth at the community residential program who were being tested for COVID-19 have had their tests come back negative.

Health officials tell us this means the two youth no longer need to be in medical isolation.

Screening at Facility Entrances

Starting Tuesday, all OYA facilities will do screenings of anyone coming inside, including staff. These screenings will include questions about whether the person has COVID-19 symptoms or has been in contact with someone who has COVID-19.

Anyone who is not able to pass the screening will not be allowed to go inside. This is to help keep all our staff and youth at our facilities safe and healthy.

Online Resources – Check Out These Sites

Gov. Kate Brown has a website dedicated to Oregon coronavirus information and resources: https://coronavirus.oregon.gov/

The Office of Emergency Management has a website with resources for members of the public wanting to learn more about COVID-19 in Oregon, plus ways for people to offer services to assist in the state’s response: https://oregon-coronavirus-geo.hub.arcgis.com/

There’s Help If You Need It

We encourage you to take care of yourself, your team members, and your loved ones.
OYA and state employees, don’t forget that the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) has counselors available who can assist you on a confidential basis 24/7. Initial sessions are free. Here’s how to contact them:

State of Oregon Employee Assistance Program
Portland: 503-639-3009
Salem: 503-588-0777
800-433-2320 (toll-free)

********

Friday, March 20

Second youth at community program is tested

We’re happy to report that the COVID-19 test for the OYA youth at the contracted residential program in the community came back negative.

However, the other youth at the same program who was also sick has been tested for COVID-19.

Both youth have been in medical isolation since Saturday and will stay there until health officials advise us that they no longer need to do so. We will keep you updated as we hear results from the new COVID-19 test.


Thursday, March 19

UPDATED: Community Youth’s Test Comes Back Negative for COVID-19

Updated 5:30 p.m.:

An OYA youth’s COVID-19 test has come back negative.

The youth, who has been in medical isolation at an OYA contracted residential program  in the community, was tested Saturday after exhibiting symptoms. Today, we learned that test was negative.

The youth, along with another youth at the program who is ill, have been in medical isolation. They will remain there until health authorities advise us that it is safe for them to no longer be isolated.


Wednesday, March 18

Youth Being Tested at Residential Program

We already reported about a youth in a contracted residential program who was tested for COVID-19. Unfortunately, test results have been delayed.

In the meantime, the youth’s health is reportedly improving. The youth has been in medical isolation with another youth who has been ill, but is also feeling better. The provider is continuing to work with local public health officials.

School Closures

Yesterday, Gov. Kate Brown extended Oregon’s school closure through April 28. This does not apply to schools in our facilities. We are working with Oregon Department of Education to determine what our options are. We will keep you updated when we learn more.

Training Academy

Yesterday, DPSST (Department of Public Safety Standards and Training), where the OYA Training Academy is based, closed temporarily. You can read DPSST’s release here. OYA Training Academy staff are working remotely until further notice.

OYA Website Issues

You may have had issues this week accessing the OYA website. It has been experiencing intermittent outages due to recent high traffic. This has also been an issue for some other Oregon agencies. Our contractor is aware and working on a solution.

Rumor Control

Finally, we wanted to address a few rumors by providing these additional facts:

  • OYA intake and our contracted residential providers are still screening and accepting new youth.
  • We still do not have any youth in our facilities being tested for COVID-19. We did have a youth at one facility who was ill. Because the youth had a fever, we requested that the hospital test for COVID-19. However, the hospital advised that a test was not needed because the youth did not meet the criteria. The youth remains in medical isolation.

Tuesday, March 17

Youth Being Tested at Residential Program

We are still waiting for results for the youth at our contracted community residential program who is being tested for COVID-19.

We have been having trouble obtaining the test results. We are continuing to work with public health officials and the testing hospital to get the results. We learned today that the results may be further delayed.

The youth is still in medical isolation, along with one other youth at the program who is also sick.

Statesman Journal story: Some people were confused about a story on the Statesman Journal website about the community youth being tested. The story initially featured a photo of MacLaren. However, the youth in question is not at MacLaren, and we do not have any youth at MacLaren being tested at this time. We got the newspaper staff to change the photo to prevent further confusion.

Tips for Reducing Anxiety

Here are a few good articles and websites we found with tips for reducing anxiety during these trying times. If you see any other good articles on this issue that you’d like to share, please send them to OYA.Communications@oya.state.or.us.


Monday, March 16:

OYA Director Provides Coronavirus Update

Updates on the coronavirus situation continue to change by the hour, and we know you have questions and concerns.

Still Waiting for Test Result from Residential Program

On Saturday morning, we learned that a youth at one of our community contracted residential programs was sick and being tested for coronavirus. As of this afternoon, we still have not received test results.

The youth in question, plus another youth at the same program who is also sick, are being kept in medical isolation.

All youth at the program must remain there at this time. We have not yet received guidance saying that staff should be quarantined.

We have been reaching out to OYA staff who may have had recent contact with this program.

Visitors and Volunteers Not Allowed Inside OYA Facilities

Visitation at all OYA facilities is canceled until further notice, although exceptions may be made in rare circumstances. Also, no volunteers are allowed inside our facilities.

This started March 14 and is in effect temporarily for 30 days. We will re-evaluate this regularly.

Juvenile parole/probation officers, attorneys, and contractors still have access. Multi-disciplinary team meetings are being held via Skype.

Schools Closed in All Facilities

As of Tuesday, all the schools in our close-custody facilities will be closed until April 1. Most of them closed starting Monday.

Reschedule All Events

The governor’s office is advising agencies to reschedule all events, if possible. The latest guidance from this afternoon is to not have gatherings of more than 25 people for at least four weeks.

We ask that anyone who has planned any events for facilities or programs in the coming weeks to please take this into consideration.

Please let us know if you have any questions, and we will update you again when we know more about these issues.


OYA Announces School Closures in OYA Facilities

All schools in OYA facilities are closed through the end of the month.

While other close custody facilities’ schools are closed today, Monroe High School at Eastern Oregon Youth Correctional Facility in Burns held classes. However, it will be the last day of school for the next two weeks.

Oregon Department of Education oversees schools in our facilities, and leaders at both agencies consulted on the decision. Both agencies continue to evaluate the situation daily.


Sunday, March 15:

UPDATE: One OYA Youth In Community Being Tested for COVID-19

We previously reported that two youth at a residential program were being tested for coronavirus. We have since learned that two youth are being kept in medical isolation due to illness, but only one of them has been tested so far for coronavirus. We are still waiting for the test results. Additionally, program staff have not been quarantined, although all youth must remain at the program at this time. Below is a full update.


Saturday, March 14:

One OYA Youth In Community Being Tested for COVID-19

On Saturday morning, Oregon Youth Authority learned that a youth in one of our contracted residential programs is sick and is being tested for coronavirus (COVID-19). Test results take up to two days.

The youth in question and one other youth who is sick have received medical care and have been placed in medical isolation at the program.

OYA and the program directors have not yet received any guidance that program staff should be quarantined. Program directors are reaching out to local health officials to learn their guidance on how to proceed.

OYA has already contacted families of youth at the affected program. We are also notifying OYA staff who may have had contact with the youth or program staff.

OYA’s pandemic response team continues to meet to review next steps and operational concerns and to monitor the situation.


Friday, March 13:

Visitation at All OYA Facilities Canceled, Effective March 14

We know families, volunteers, and our partners are concerned about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and how we are keeping the youth in our care healthy and safe. We are closely monitoring the Oregon Health Authority for guidance.

We do not currently have any known or presumed cases of COVID-19 in OYA facilities. However, effective March 14, all visitation at all OYA facilities will be canceled until further notice.

This policy will be in effect temporarily for up to 30 days. We will re-evaluate regularly. It means:

  • No visitors or volunteers.
  • Juvenile parole/probation officers, attorneys, and contractors will still have access.

How to Contact Your Youth

We encourage you to contact your youth’s case coordinator or camp counselor to set up phone calls or video calls with your youth, using Skype for Business.

How Your Youth Can Stay Healthy

We are giving youth and everyone these tips for staying healthy:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, for 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face with unwashed hands.
  • Don’t have contact with people who are sick.
  • If you’re not feeling well, try to stay away from others the best you can.
  • Sneeze or cough into a shirt sleeve or tissue (and if it’s a tissue, throw it in the trash and then wash your hands).
  • Stay healthy by eating a good diet, exercising, getting plenty of rest, and making sure you’ve had all your vaccines, including your flu shot. Our facility clinics are still offering flu shots to youth who want them.
  • We are also telling our staff that if they have any symptoms of illness, it’s best for them to stay home.

We are sorry to have to cancel visitation. We understand the importance of communication and connections between youth and their families. However, we feel we must enact some temporary measures for everyone’s health and safety. Thanks for your understanding.

**

Sabemos que están preocupados por el coronavirus (COVID-19) y cómo mantenemos a los jóvenes a nuestro cuidado sanos y seguros. Estamos monitoreando de cerca a la Autoridad de Salud de Oregon para obtener orientación al respecto.

Actualmente no tenemos ningún caso conocido o presunto de COVID-19 en las instalaciones de OYA. Sin embargo, a partir del 14 de marzo, todas las visitas a todas las instalaciones de OYA se cancelarán hasta nuevo aviso.

Esta política estará vigente temporalmente por lo menos 30 días. Lo reevaluaremos regularmente. Esto significa:

  • No visitantes ni voluntarios.
  • Los oficiales de libertad condicional/provisional, abogados y contratistas seguirán teniendo acceso.

Cómo contactar a su joven en OYA

Le recomendamos que se comunique con el coordinador de casos o el consejero de su joven en OYA para programar llamadas telefónicas o videollamadas con su joven en OYA, utilizando Skype para visita digital.

Cómo puede mantenerse saludable un joven en OYA

A estos jóvenes y a todos les damos estos consejos para mantenerse saludables:

  • Lavarse las manos con frecuencia con agua y jabón durante 20 segundos.
  • No te tocarse la cara con las manos sin lavar.
  • No tener contacto con personas enfermas.
  • Si no se siente bien, trate de mantenerse alejado de los demás lo mejor posible.
  • Estornude o tosa en su brazo o pañuelo (y si es un pañuelo desechable, tírelo a la basura y luego lávese o desinféctese las manos).
  • Manténgase saludable comiendo una buena dieta, haciendo ejercicio, descansando lo suficiente y asegurándose de haber recibido todas sus vacunas, incluida la vacuna contra la gripe. Las clínicas de nuestras instalaciones aún ofrecen vacunas contra la gripe a los jóvenes que las desean.
  • También le estamos comunicando a nuestro personal que si tienen algún síntoma de enfermedad, es mejor que se queden en casa.

Lamentamos tener que cancelar las visitas. Entendemos la importancia de la comunicación y las conexiones entre los jóvenes y sus familias. Sin embargo, OYA considera que debemos promulgar algunas medidas temporales para la salud y la seguridad de todos. Gracias por su comprensión.


Monday, March 2:

Coronavirus: What You Need To Know

By Marcia Adams, M.D.
OYA Medical Director & Assistant Director

I’m sure you’ve heard about the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. We know you probably have concerns and questions. Some important things to know:

  1. As of March 2, there have been three presumed cases of coronavirus in Oregon. The situation is being monitored closely by public officials. Sign up here to get email updates on the coronavirus from the Oregon Health Authority.
  2. Get up-to-date information from the Oregon Health Authority. Because this is a rapidly-evolving situation, there is a great deal of misinformation about COVID-19 and its spread. Get up-to-date information on the Oregon Health Authority’s website and on OHA’s Facebook and Twitter.
  3. OYA has a plan for maintaining care for our youth in the event of widespread staff illnesses. We are reviewing the plan and will be working with OYA managers to make sure everyone knows what to do if a pandemic is declared — and educating youth on how to stay healthy. The governor’s office has also convened a coronavirus response team, made up of agency directors, to ensure a coordinated statewide response readiness plan is in place.
  4. We are working with OHA to gather answers to questions our staff and stakeholders may have. For those who have kids in school, the Oregon Department of Education has an information page with some FAQs.
  5. What you can do to reduce your risk.
  • Sneeze or cough into a tissue that you then throw away.
  • Wash your hands often or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that’s at least 60% alcohol. Here’s a great short video on how to do it right.
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
  • Regularly clean high-traffic surfaces.
  • Take care of your overall health: Stay current on vaccinations (including your flu vaccine), eat well, and exercise to keep your body healthy.
  • Avoid close contact with those who are sick.
  • If you do get sick, please stay home to avoid infecting others.
  • If you plan to travel outside the United States, consult travel advisories first.
  1. There are also basic steps every household should take to prepare for any unexpected event:
  • Learn about the policies at your place of employment surrounding sick leave and working from home.
  • Establish a childcare plan in the event your kids need to stay home from school.
  • Make sure you have the kinds of foods, drinks, medications and pet supplies you would want if you needed to stay home and limit your contact with other people for a couple of weeks. The Oregon Health Authority and the Governor’s Office recommend that Oregonians be 2 Weeks Ready in case of the need to shelter in place for an extended period of time.
  • Get to know your neighbors, especially those who might need extra help like seniors or people living alone.
  1. The situation is changing rapidly. We’ll try to get you up-to-date information as we can.

We are keeping track of developments and will communicate regarding any updates affecting our staff, families, and the youth we serve.

  1. Shelley Braughton April 5, 2020 at 11:45 am

    How inspiring! Congratulations!

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