ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — An employee at the St. Petersburg Police Department's Emergency Communications Center (ECC) has tested positive for COVID-19.
The police department announced the test results, saying the individual is a non-sworn employee.
Chief Anthony Holloway told 10News the employee is 50 years old.
“The first thing you have to worry about, first the employee to make sure that he’s OK. Then you have to start thinking about when he came to work. Who did he work with? Who do we need to quarantine? How do we make sure it doesn’t spread in the department?” Holloway said.
The employee went out of town on March 16 and has been home sick since March 18 after showing symptoms of the virus, according to the police department. Test results came back on Wednesday. The employee is currently being treated.
Four other employees who may have come in contact with the sick employee are self-quarantining at home.
“Two took the tests right away yesterday. I’m not sure if the other two have taken the tests,” Holloway told 10News.
He said, as of now, the department still has enough staff to cover all shifts, “but we have a plan in place just in case we did get down more with resources."
After learning the employee was sick, maintenance crews started sanitizing the communications center several times a day.
The police department said it is working with the Florida Department of Health for the safety of their other employees.
This is what the police department did since receiving the positive test result:
- Chief Anthony Holloway sent a memo to all police employees notifying them that an employee has tested positive
- A volunteer from St. Anthony's Hospital will be onsite twice daily Monday through Friday to check employees' temperatures on a daily basis.
- Hand-sanitizing stations were placed on each floor.
77 employees work in the ECC as call-takers and dispatchers for 911
and non-emergency calls. The police department says there is enough space for employees to spread out and maintain social distancing.
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