CHICAGO, Ill. (WGN) — The COVID-19 pandemic is taking a toll on the Chicago Police Department.
The CPD had more than 800 officers and employees out sick Monday; or about 6% of the entire force. The department said it’s largely due to precautionary measures hundreds are taking sick leave but, of the 50 officers testing positive for the virus, a few required hospitalization and one is said to be in critical condition, according to the CPD.
“As police officers, we have these concerns because we’re serving the community,” said Sgt. Anthony Varchetto of the CPD. “But we also have families as well and there’s a concern of obviously, you know, after your tour of duty, bringing this home to your family as well.”
Free testing is being offered by a newly formed group called Bank the Blue to help support officers through the pandemic. The department’s first confirmed case of coronavirus was reported just two weeks ago with a detective testing positive. The police facility underwent a thorough cleaning and disinfection.
CPD spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the department is prioritizing infection control measures within all facilities. Mayor Lori Lightfoot is expected to announce additional support for first responders later Tuesday morning.