Almost 200 NYPD officers test positive for coronavirus in less than a day, bringing total to over 500 cases in the force

 newsweek.com  03/28/2020 01:27:39   Jeffery Martin

More than 500 officers of the New York Police Department have tested positive for coronavirus in addition to the 4,111 officers taking sick leave, according to the NYPD.

"On Friday, March 27, 2020, 4,111 NYPD uniformed employees were on sick report which accounts for 11.4 percent of the Department's uniformed workforce," the NYPD said in a statement sent to Newsweek. "Currently, 442 uniformed members and 70 civilian members tested positive for the Coronavirus."

New York's fire department is also feeling the effect of the coronavirus pandemic with 170 members testing positive for the illness. More than 2,000 paramedics and firefighters have called out sick, representing roughly 17 percent of the members of the department.

"I think this is unprecedented times," NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea told CBS News on Friday. "We've been through some difficult times before. I think the safety of the members of the NYPD is really first and foremost, them and their families, but that quickly extends out to 8.6 million people."

"Let's just get through this," Shea continued. "Let's get through this as a family, and our family includes all New Yorkers including city workers, doctors, nurses, fire department, bus drivers and people that live and work in New York City."

Custodian Dennis Dickson was the first NYPD member to die from coronavirus complications on Thursday.

"Mr. Dickson was a revered member of the custodial staff at Police Headquarters once spending 17 days at the headquarters building during Super Storm Sandy assisting with emergency cleanup operations," Shea said in a Thursday statement.

NYPD

"On Friday, March 27, 2020, 4,111 NYPD uniformed employees were on sick report which accounts for 11.4 percent of the Department's uniformed workforce," the NYPD said Friday. Getty

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio released some non-violent or vulnerable offenders from jail as coronavirus continued to spread. After those individuals were released, there were less than 5,000 prisoners left in the city's jail system.

"None of us expected this crisis," de Blasio said Thursday during a briefing, "but one thing that has come out of it is that our jail population has declined."

New York City is also deliberating on whether or not to fine individuals $500 for not following social distancing guidelines.

"People need to understand that this is really, really serious," de Blasio said Friday.

On a statewide level, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Friday the state is looking for more hospital space to accommodate coronavirus patients.

"We're looking for and wide, very creative, aggressive and finding all the space that we can possibly find," Cuomo said.

The U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort is expected to arrive in New York Harbor on Monday to assist health care workers with coronavirus cases. While no coronavirus patients are expected to be taken aboard the ship, its presence will expand the number of hospital beds in New York City.

"Over 1,200 medical personnel and critical supplies will be onboard the vessel," read a Thursday statement from the White House. "They will bring to bear the skills, care, and compassion needed to wage this fight against an invisible enemy."

President Donald Trump is expected to see the USNS Comfort off Saturday from its current location in Norfolk, Virginia.

Recent data indicated that New York has 44,810 confirmed cases of coronavirus with over 25,000 of those in New York City.

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