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LAPD officers will wear masks or coverings as a coronavirus precaution

LAPD officers will wear masks or coverings as a coronavirus precaution.
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said Thursday that more police officers will be wearing protective masks or other face coverings as an added safety measure amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The move came as the number of police officers confirmed with coronavirus rose to 35.

“Effective today, you may see your local LAPD officers wearing either surgical masks or nonmedical face coverings while in public. This is for our safety, and for your safety. Coupled with safe social distancing, we will continue to protect and serve through this crisis,” Moore said on Twitter.

A Riverside County sheriff’s deputy died Thursday morning from complications of the coronavirus, the latest sign of how law enforcement is being hit hard by the outbreak. The department tweeted that Deputy Terrell Young was its first member to succumb to the virus.

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Law enforcement personnel are among more than 200 people who have died of the coronavirus in the state. A Santa Rosa police detective died last week.

Since the outbreak began, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has sent 209 employees home to quarantine because of exposure to the virus.

The LAPD continues to test more of its 13,000 employees. The department is now taking the temperatures of officers as they arrive for their shifts. Department roll calls are now conducted with officers spaced to ensure social distancing. Those with even slight signs of illness have been ordered to stay home.

Work spaces are frequently sanitized, and officers are equipped with N95 masks, gloves and goggles if needed.


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