Ohio officer tests positive for COVID-19

The officer is self-quarantining after testing positive and three other officers are also in isolation because of exposure risk


Evan MacDonald
The Plain Dealer

CLEVELAND, Ohio — A Lorain police officer has tested positive for the new coronavirus, the city’s police chief confirmed.

The officer is self-quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19, Lorain police Chief Jim McCann said in an email. Three other police officers are also in isolation because they met the Centers for Disease Control criteria of being at risk for exposure, McCann said.

No citizens are affected, McCann said. Lorain County Public Health helped the police department retrace the officer’s steps in recent days to determine that no citizen met the CDC exposure criteria.

McCann did not provide any other information about the officer, citing healthcare privacy laws. He did not say when the city learned of the officer’s positive test.

It’s unclear how the officer came into contact with the virus, McCann said.

Lorain Mayor Jack Bradley closed City Hall to the public on Monday, saying in a news release that the officer “was active in the building on multiple floors.” City employees are being asked to stay home if they are exhibiting symptoms.

Lorain County confirmed three cases of the coronavirus by Monday afternoon. There were 50 confirmed cases in Ohio as of Monday afternoon, including 14 people who were hospitalized, Gov. Mike DeWine said at a news conference.

Lorain County Public Health Commissioner Dave Covell confirmed the county’s first case of the coronavirus Saturday. In a video statement, he urged anyone exhibiting symptoms to follow the advice of public health experts and self-isolate. He also instructed residents to practice social distancing to help contain the spread of the virus, and take precautions like thoroughly washing hands and covering a cough.

Leaders of several Cleveland suburbs met Friday to make plans that could see them share police officers and firefighters in the event of a coronavirus outbreak in their departments. Those plans are still being finalized, Lyndhurst Mayor Patrick Ward said Monday.

The Cleveland police department announced Monday that only one officer would be assigned to each patrol car as a precaution to prevent the spread of the virus.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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