However, only one has been hospitalized so far
New York has been one of the hardest hit states in the country by the coronavirus. Now 52 members of the New York Police Department have tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19.
NYPD chief Dermot Shea shared the news during a Friday evening news conference, but added that at this point, only one of those 52 have been hospitalized with pneumonia. Others are recovering at home. Shea didn’t share where any of the positive cases originated from in the city.
“When you look at the police department sick, there’s been a noticeable increase in the last four days, and something we are watching closely,” Shea said. “We remain very well resourced to hand any and all obstacles that come our way, but we are watching closely.”
More than 36,000 uniformed officers, and 19,000 civilian employees comprise the workforce that is known as the NYPD. So even though 52 positive cases may seem like an overwhelming number, when compared to the how big the force is, it is a relatively low number. Shea noted that it shows how much officers and others working in the department are on the front lines every day.
On another note, in the past week crime has dropped across the city, the chief added, primarily because crowds are disappearing from the street. Calls to 911 have dropped, except for those related to illness. That has allowed officers to focus more on other areas, including schools and enrichment centers, which are expected to provide three meals a day for any child under 18.
“What are we doing now? We’re paying extremely close attention to areas where people are gathering, and for good reason,” Shea said. “Grocery stores are at the top of our list, as our hospitals, schools and many facilities that will be open for both children, and for picking up breakfast and lunch.”
“Police officers are focused on 500 ‘large establishments’ throughout the city, and so far, law enforcement has not encountered any serious problems in keeping people from congregating” Shea said.
“We have issued very few summonses to any establishment,” Shea said. “It’s all about education, and it is about working with each other, and it’s about social distancing.”
Earlier Friday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an order that would essentially shut down the state for all non-essential people beginning Sunday at 8 p.m. While many would be allowed to buy food or to exercise on their own outside, the general order is to keep as many people home as possible to help stunt the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.