KEY POINTS

  • 900 NYPD members at risk of acquiring COVID-19 says, Commissioner Shea
  • Cases of New York police officers contracting COVID-19 continue to rise
  • By Sunday, nearly 5,000 NYPD members have already called in sick

According to Commissioner Shea, the likelihood that this scenario can happen is high, considering that more and more police officers have been calling in sick. This can become very difficult, not only for the NYPD, but citizens as well because fewer NYPD members may be able to assist them in terms of protection and emergencies.

coronavirus infects nypd members coronavirus infects nypd members Photo: Alec Favale - Unsplash

New York’s Present Situation

Current statistics show that the US state with the highest number of COVID-19 infections is in New York, with 59,548 cases, of which 965 has already died. A few days ago, health expert Dr. Deborah Birx said that it appears that the attack rate in the greater New York City area is almost one in every thousand. Dr. Birx said this is five times higher compared to other areas in the United States.

When asked about his opinion on the likelihood of an increase in the confirmed cases within the NYPD, Commissioner Shea said they know that the current numbers will continue to grow. He also said they are looking at two sides of the spectrum. Commissioner Shea said they are also trying to find out the current sick rate as NYPD officers continue to become infected. They are also seeking answers from health experts as to when such infection rates will begin to plateau.

The Number Of Sick Cops Is Increasing

Commissioner Dermot Shea also revealed that nearly 5,000 cops have called in sick as of Sunday. According to him, that already represents approximately 14% of the total number of NYPS members. The Commissioner also said that the total number by Sunday shows an increase of almost 800 officers compared to the previous day.

Shea, however, did not say as to how long the cops were being told to stay in their homes once they were confirmed as having acquired the deadly COVID-19. According to the Interim US Guidance for Risk Assessment and Public Health Management of Persons with COVID-19, those who turned out positive should isolate themselves for at least 14 days. The same goes for those who have been exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case. This interim guidance was crafted by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and was updated on March 22, 2020.

NYPD Starting To Lose Members To COVID-19

The growing numbers, as revealed by Commissioner Shea, comes a day after an NYPD uniformed officer succumbed to the virus. Cedric Dixon, who is assigned in Harlem’s 32nd Precinct, contracted the virus several days ago and died on the morning of Saturday.

He was the third NYPD member to die from COVID-19 infection over the past couple of days. An administrative aide in the Bronx, as well as a 62-year-old cleaner stationed at 1 Police Plaza, have both succumbed to COVID-19 on Thursday.

Commissioner Shea also shared some positive news. He said that the first set of NYPD officers who acquired the virus already recovered, and many of them have started to return to work. According to the Commissioner, these officers called in sick last March 12.