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Los Angeles police, fire departments see increase in COVID-19 cases

LAPD Lt. Jay Hom helps assemble anti-coronavirus protection kits consisting of an N95 mask, work gloves and nitrile gloves at Piper Technical Center in March.
LAPD Lt. Jay Hom helps assemble anti-coronavirus protection kits consisting of an N95 mask, work gloves and nitrile gloves at Piper Technical Center in March.
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

The total number of Los Angeles Police Department personnel who have tested positive for COVID-19 has risen to 108, while 27 employees of the city’s fire department have become infected, the city’s emergency operations center reported this weekend.

At the police department, 45 employees have already recovered and returned to full duty, according to a statement from the center. One employee is currently hospitalized and the remaining employees are self-isolating at home and recovering.

At the fire department, 22 employees have recovered and returned to work. Five employees are isolated and recovering at home.

The new numbers reflect the growing toll of the coronavirus on the city’s first responders.

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At least two Southern California law enforcement officers — both sheriff’s deputies in Riverside County — have died from the virus. So has a Los Angeles city employee. Fire departments in San Jose and Long Beach were also hit hard with cases.

LAPD Chief Michel Moore has directed officers to wear protective masks, and the department now takes the temperatures of officers as they arrive to work for their shifts.

Police officers who have symptoms or must quarantine because of possible exposure have the option of self-isolating at home or moving into the Biltmore Hotel in downtown L.A. to quarantine, The Times reported last month.

The rooms are not being paid for by taxpayer funds. The Los Angeles Police Foundation, a nonprofit independent group that buys police equipment and offers other support to the LAPD, made a donation to cover the hotel costs, the police chief said.


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