3 more Chicago cops test positive for coronavirus

Three more members of the Chicago Police Department have tested positive for coronavirus, the department announced Sunday, bringing the total number of cases in the department to four.

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The members, a detective sergeant and two officers, all work in different facilities, Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said. They are not believed to be related to the first confirmed case, announced on Thursday.

Though the officers are symptomatic, all are in “good spirits” and self-isolating at home, Guglielmi added. One officer was last at work Wednesday, while the other last worked Friday. The third last worked Saturday.

The Police Department is working with the Chicago Department of Public Health and the Department of Assets, Information and Services to clean their work areas and inform people who may have had contact with the officers, Guglielmi said.

“We are taking these cases extremely seriously and working as hard as possible to practice appropriate infection control and educate police officers on best practices,” Guglielmi said.

Due to a national shortage of masks and gloves for first responders and health care workers, however, not every officer is able to be equipped with the proper protective equipment, Guglielmi said.

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The department is working to set up dedicated teams at every police station for “higher-risk” calls where officers may respond to “potential patients,” including individuals exhibiting flu-like symptoms. Those officers will be equipped with masks and protective equipment, Guglielmi said.

At his daily press conference Sunday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker called out President Donald Trump for the federal government’s inadequate response to the equipment shortage.

“I have doctors, nurses and first responders begging for masks, equipment and more tests,” Pritzker said. “And staff working day and night to hunt down supplies we need. Trump promised this weeks ago.”

On Thursday, officials confirmed a detective in the department’s Homan Square facility was the first case of coronavirus among Chicago police. Earlier in the week, a second member of the Chicago Fire Department tested positive.

Contributing: Jake Wittich

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