TODAY'S PAPER
66° Good Evening
66° Good Evening
NewsHealthCoronavirus

NYPD: No longer showing virus symptoms, more cops back on the job

Since March 30, 276 NYPD officers who tested

Since March 30, 276 NYPD officers who tested positive for the coronavirus have been cleared to go back on the job, officials said. Credit: EPA-EFE / Shutterstock / Jason Szenes

A steadily increasing number of NYPD officers are returning to work after testing positive for COVID-19, even though the overall number of city cops with positive results has passed 2,000, officials told Newsday.

Since March 30, some 276 officers have returned to duty, with an average of about 35 coming back to work daily since March 31, according to data released by the department. 

The number of officers cleared for duty is still a relatively small number compared to the 2,103 cops who have tested positive through Wednesday. Among civilian members of the NYPD, 373 have tested positive for the coronavirus.

According to NYPD spokesman Richard Esposito, cops don’t need an in-person exam to return to work. Instead, a department physician will use a virtual system to communicate with the sick person and ask a few questions, including whether they have a fever, night sweats or are exhibiting flu-like symptoms, Esposito said.

If an officer still has symptoms, he or she will be checked every three days and once they are symptom free, cleared to return to work, he said.

The return of cops is news the NYPD hasn’t been shy about touting. On Monday, NYPD Inspector Kathleen Walsh, of the 19th Precinct in Manhattan, tweeted a shoutout to Officer Jay Prieto, 24, of Queens, who recently returned to duty.

“We’re so happy to have him back!,” Walsh tweeted. 

 Police Commissioner Dermot Shea also chimed in on Twitter Tuesday to welcome Prieto back.

A note to our community:

As a public service, this article is available for all. Newsday readers support our strong local journalism by subscribing.  Please show you value this important work by becoming a subscriber now.

SUBSCRIBE

Cancel anytime

“Great to hear you’re feeling better and thank you to all our cops citywide, who have recovered and are steadily returning to their jobs,” Shea tweeted.

 Prieto, who has been a cop since 2017, couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday.

While cops are returning to work, the NYPD still shows increasing numbers of officers calling in sick for a variety of health reasons, not all of which are related to the coronavirus. As of Wednesday, 7,130 uniformed members of the NYPD's 36,000-strong force were on sick report, or 19.7% of the force, the department said. The normal sick report is about 3%.

 At the FDNY, officials said 1,300 firefighters and emergency medical service personnel have returned to duty after quarantining. 

The number of FDNY personnel returning was affected by the fact that earlier, the department quarantined anyone who worked with someone positive for the virus, a department spokesman said. Now, anyone who is healthy but was in the proximity of someone sickened by the virus is being told to monitor themselves for symptoms, the spokesman said.

CORRECTION:  A previous version of this story gave the incorrect last name for NYPD Inspector Kathleen Walsh.

A note to our community:

As a public service, this article is available for all. Newsday readers support our strong local journalism by subscribing.  Please show you value this important work by becoming a subscriber now.

SUBSCRIBE

Cancel anytime

Health