Around 1,400 NYPD Officers Test Positive for CCP Virus

Around 1,400 NYPD Officers Test Positive for CCP Virus
NYPD cars are seen in Times Square in New York City on March 22, 2020. (Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images)

Around 1,400 New York City police officers have tested positive for the CCP virus, and some 6,172 members, or 17 percent of the workforce, have called in sick, said commissioner Dermot Shea.

Shea made the announcements on CNN’s Tuesday show with Jim Sciutto. Sick leave at the department is five times higher than usual. Most of the furlough applications are related to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus.

Shea told Fox News Monday night that there were that the phone lines couldn’t handle the sudden influx of sick leave applications. “There were thousands and thousands and thousands of calls into our sick desk…the lines couldn’t hold. The mantra here is next woman, next man up,” he said.

By Wednesday, one officer and four civilian members of the NYPD had passed away, Shea said.

“Five members of the family…it’s a very difficult time for the New York City Police Department,” he said. “Any time we lose someone, it’s difficult. This is a very surreal feeling. We pride ourselves in taking care of our family and we’re in a situation right now where we don’t really even have time to mourn. It’s every man and every woman stepping in and trying to get a mission done. And we will mourn, but it won’t be today. There is just too much work to do.”

NTD Photo
A body wrapped in plastic that was unloaded from a refrigerated truck is handled by medical workers wearing personal protective equipment due to COVID-19 concerns at Brooklyn Hospital Center in New York on March 31, 2020. (John Minchillo/AP Photo)

“It has been clearly a difficult time for New York City as a whole. The message is to all New Yorkers that we’re all in this together,” Shea told CNN. “Certainly the NYPD is a part of that, uniform and civilian members—it’s all of us.”

Asked what impact the crisis has had so far on the department’s ability to perform its job, Shea said, “[We’re] doing the best we can to get out of this as soon as possible. It’s a constant state of planning. Before this crisis ever took place, and certainly hour to hour during this. … We are scrambling, but that shouldn’t have a negative connotation. We are able to handle many, many different tasks here. We’re still fighting crime; there’s still great work taking place.”

Shea added the police force is still reaching out to New Yorkers to help the needy, deliver food, fight crime and domestic violence, and make sure everyone is safe.

“Right now, we’re in good shape in New York City. But the bottom line is anyone that can help will be asked upon to help to keep people safe,” Shea said when asked if state police may provide backup to city police in the future.

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