4 Manchester officers diagnosed with COVID-19, others self-monitoring

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Manchester officers all began wearing personal protection equipment which includes a mask, gloves, and safety glasses as of April 3 according to this photo posted on their Facebook page.

MANCHESTER, NH – Four city police officers have tested positive for COVID-19 while others are in self-monitoring, police announced Monday.

People who came into contact with the officers when they were on duty were not notified of the positive results.

“It is not possible to trace back and determine who these officers may have come in contact with,” said Heather Hamel, public information officer. “We are just recommending that people who believe they came in contact with infected individuals or are feeling ill call their PCP.”

The department is not providing the exact number of officers who are self-monitoring because the number is “very fluid and changes daily,” she said.

The New Hampshire National Guard, she said, is not needed to help staff the department.

She said officers continue to practice the best measures possible to try keep themselves and the public safe.

“As of Friday, our officers all have the necessary personal protection equipment needed to safely work on the streets,” Hamel said in a news release. “They are also always practicing social distancing, whether they are inside or outside our building.”

While officers have the protective gear and sanitizers to clean cruisers, they often are placed in situations that don’t always allow them to distance themselves from individuals.

In the news release, police noted the virus can be transmitted very easily and often times those infected show little to no symptoms, making it very difficult for officers to properly protect themselves at all times.

The department is working closely with the city Health Department and following best practices to ensure the officers are healthy and able to return to work.

The department will continue providing the same level of protection for citizens and encourages the public to avoid going out unless it is absolutely necessary.

 Anyone who may have come into contact with someone infected with COVID-19 should call their primary care physician.

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Pat Grossmith

Pat Grossmith is a freelance reporter.