The number of members of the NYPD sick or infected with the COVID-19 virus continues to rise, according to the commissioner who spoke on CNN this morning.
But in a glimmer of hope, he said many of those who went out sick early on are now coming back on the job and it may not be necessary to go to 12 hours shifts to fill in for the loss of manpower.
Commissioner Shea said 1400 members of the department, both uniform and non-uniform, have been confirmed to have COVID-19, while a total of 6,200 NYPD members are out on sick leave, totaling about 17 percent of the department.
“We are waiting for an inversion point when the number of those out sick slow and more people are coming back,” Shea said. “People returning is positive and they will come back on to help their brothers and sisters on the front lines. We are planning for this eventuality and we know there is a lot of hard work down the road.”
Chief of Department Terry Monahan said this afternoon that 167 officers had returned to duty today, of which 45 had tested positive for the coronavirus and had spent time quarantined. He expects more officers to return shortly.
Even with the reduced manpower, police officers continue to visit restaurants, bars, supermarkets, salons and public spaces to remind individuals of the ban on congregating in public spaces and to practice social distancing.
Yesterday police officers visited 2449 supermarkets of which 1246 were closed; 6769 bars and restaurants of which 5114 were closed; 1262 public places of which 530 were closed; 3080 personal care facilities of which 3080 were closed. There were no arrests or summonses issued in regard to these visits.
Shea said the vast majority of New Yorkers were observing social distancing guidelines and officers continue to instruct residents to take precautions so as not to spread the coronavirus.
“I’ve lost a sense of time and it’s been difficult,” She said. “But the message to New Yorkers is that we are all in this together. And our motto at the department is ‘next woman next man up. We will stay strong.”