Baltimore Police said two officers assigned to the department’s Eastern District tested positive for COVID-19, resulting in 42 others to be quarantined.
"Out of an abundance of caution, the department is temporarily adjusting operations as a precautionary measure for the agency,” Commissioner Michael Harrison said in statement Wednesday.
The officers being quarantined will either be tested for the novel coronavirus or will be questioned by medical personnel from MedStar Health, the Maryland Department of Health and the Baltimore City Health Department, the statement said. The district station and all “affected vehicles have been sanitized" it said.
“The safety of our members and citizens continues to be my top priority during this critical time, and we will continue to take the necessary steps to protect our members and the community,” Harrison said.
Previously, the department briefly closed the Southwestern District after an officer assigned to that district tested positive. Officers who didn’t show symptoms, or who didn’t come into the building, for example, were evaluated by the health partners, and not necessarily tested. The district building opened after a cleaning.
A total of 31 officers have tested positive for COVID-19, 25 of which have recovered and have returned to work.
The a total of 68 employees were quarantined due to potential exposure for COVID-19 as of Wednesday, and a total 428 employees have been quarantined since the beginning of the pandemic. Of those officers, police said 360 have returned to work.
Since the start of the pandemic, the department has adopted several policies to reduce the spread of the virus, including “daily health checks, to include twice a day temperature checks and remaining alert for any respiratory distress symptoms,” the statement said.