Total of 24 BPD members test positive for COVID-19

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Photo by Elvert Barnes, via Flickr

A total of 24 members of the Baltimore Police Department have tested positive for COVID-19, including 20 police officers and four civilian employees, the department announced Wednesday.

Eight of the BPD employees who tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered and were cleared to return to work, police officials said.

Since the pandemic began, BPD has quarantined 332 employees who were potentially exposed to COVID-19 after traveling from high-risk areas or displaying flu-like symptoms or symptoms of a respiratory illness. Of those quarantined employees, 305 were cleared to return to work and 27 remain in quarantine, BPD said.

The announcement comes just over a week after BPD reopened its Southwestern District after three BPD members in that district tested positive for COVID-19. BPD conducted deep cleanings of the district’s station and every vehicle, and all officers were screened or tested for the virus, Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said in a press conference last week.

Harrison said in a separate press conference that all members of the police department must wear N95 masks while making calls for service and during any interaction with the public, including foot patrols and business checks.

The department also implemented daily health checks and requested that officers check their temperature twice per day, Harrison said.

Members of the Baltimore City Fire Department must wear protective masks through the duration of their entire shift to lower exposure to coworkers who may be potentially infected by COVID-19, Fire Chief Niles Ford also said last week.

“Our goal is not to alarm the public or alarm the community,” he said. “Our goal is to protect the community.”

Before that, the fire department required firefighters and EMTs to wear personal protective equipment with goggles, masks and gloves when they responded to calls with “patient contact,” Ford said.

At least 1,060 Baltimoreans have tested positive for COVID-19, as of Wednesday, according Maryland Department of Health’s Maryland COVID-19 Case Map Dashboard.

Baltimore City has recorded 25 confirmed coronavirus-related deaths and two “probable” deaths due to COVID-19.

Probable deaths include instances where a deceased person’s death certificate lists COVID-19 as the cause but it has not yet been confirmed with a lab test, said Kata D. Hall, deputy communications director for Gov. Larry Hogan.

Marcus Dieterle

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