Tampa police officer tests positive for COVID-19; 35 officers quarantined
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TPD officer tests positive for COVID-19

Haley Hinds reports

TAMPA, Fla.A police officer for the city of Tampa has tested positive for COVID-19, Mayor Jane Castor confirmed Wednesday during a press conference. 

Tampa Police Department Chief Brian Dugan said 35 officers have been quarantined.

To date, Dugan said 58 officers have been monitored, with 14 cleared back to work. Of the 35 currently in quarantine, 10 are showing symptoms. Seven of the quarantined officers had recently been on cruises and another three had traveled internationally.

TPD is awaiting COVID-19 test results for nine of its officers. 

“I’ve said all along it’s nearly impossible for our police officers to do their jobs without being exposed to this virus,” Dugan said. “We can handle the bombs and the bullets and the blood, but this is an unknown virus we’re not used to, that we can’t see, and that’s what makes our job so dangerous and so difficult.”

MAP: County-by-county COVID-19 cases

The chief said TPD was looking into the contacts of the officer who tested positive. The chief also said three officers had to be “relieved of duty” after giving CPR to an individual who later died. The department was waiting to find out the individual’s cause of death. 

The officer who tested positive for COVID-19 was a new hire and finished training in February and finished on March 15. Three days later, he became ill and contacted the department’s occupational nurse. He was quarantined and put under doctor’s care. On March 25, the officer’s test results came back and, according to Chief Dugan, the officer’s health was improving. 

Tampa PD chief discusses COVID-19’s impact on agency

Brian Dugan, chief of the Tampa Police Department, discusses his officers who are quarantined after being exposed to the coronavirus and the potential safer-at-home order in Hillsborough County, which would include the city of Tampa. ‘This is something you can’t see. This is something we’re not equipped for.’

If you feel sick:

The Florida Department of Health has opened a COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-779-6121. Agents will answer questions around the clock. Questions may also be emailed to covid-19@flhealth.gov. Email responses will be sent during call center hours.

LINK: Florida’s COVID-19 website

CORONAVIRUS IN FLORIDA: What you need to know

AROUND THE WORLD: CoronavirusNOW.com

Map of known COVID-19 cases:

MOBILE APP USERS: Click here for map

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