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Harford County Sheriff’s deputy tests positive for coronavirus

The Harford County Sheriff’s Office announced Friday that a deputy has tested positive for the novel coronavirus sweeping through Maryland.

In a statement posted to the office’s Facebook page, Sheriff Jeffrey R. Gahler said the deputy was a supervisor assigned to the Investigative Services Bureau and had been non-symptomatic when he was last in the workplace on March 26.

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Sheriff’s office spokeswoman Cristie Hopkins said that the the deputy spent minimal time working with the public.

The office declined to release more identifying information about the deputy.

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The office will now begin tracking and informing those who the deputy had contact with and could have been exposed to the virus, in accordance with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, to curtail its spread. The deputy is feeling better and is expected to make a full recovery, Gahler said in the statement.

The possibility of the virus’ transmission to the sheriff’s office was not unexpected, according to the statement.

“While a positive test result within our ranks was anticipated, it is no less concerning,” Gahler said. “Once again, I want to recognize the courageousness and selflessness of our Agency members, and everyone on the front line, providing public safety in our County in the face of this threat.”

Gahler said Harford County residents should not hesitate to call 911 in the event of an emergency or to report a crime. The office has set up a telephone reporting unit that takes reports of crimes over the phone without any physical contact with county residents, according to the statement. Deputies are also equipped with personal protective equipment, including masks, gloves and eye protection.

“Please stay safe and stay home. We are all in this together,” Gahler wrote.

There are 41 confirmed cases of the virus in Harford County as of Friday morning and over 2,700 in the state, the number of which has exponentially increased since the first cases were reported on March 4, according to data from the Maryland Department of Health.

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