DALLAS (AP) — The coronavirus death toll passed 300 in Texas Tuesday, as the state’s juvenile prisons announced they will temporarily stop accepting young people from county and local jails to try to limit the disease’s spread.
Texas Juvenile Justice Department Executive Director Camille Cain said in a statement that the measure will remain in place for two weeks.
The Texas Department of State Health Services reported Tuesday that more than 14,600 Texans have tested positive for COVID-19 and 318 people who had it have died. Nearly 2,600 have recovered.
No young person in a state prison has tested positive for the disease, according to Brian Sweany, a spokesman for the juvenile corrections department. He said that last year the youth prisons admitted an average of 28 new people every two weeks. In the adult prison system, 193 prisoners and 85 staff or contractors had tested positive as of Monday.
More than 26,000 people were locked down in 22 prisons that are keeping prisoners their cells in an effort to contain the virus, according to the most recent numbers from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.