The Duluth Police Station has 29 members currently in quarantine on suspicion of exposure to the COVID-19 virus, Police Chief Mike Tusken, who is also quarantining himself as a precaution.
He notes that most staff who undergo quarantine never test positive for the virus. Since mid-October, the police department has had 14 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The Duluth Police Department employs 157 sworn officers, 26 civilians, 7 parking operators and 18 seasonal / part-time employees.
“The rise in COVID-19 cases in our city and state is posing a challenge to the safety of the community,” Tusken said. “We are challenged in the same way that many employers are getting their best done while keeping them safe.”;
While the current situation complicates police operations, Tusken said “the department’s top priority is the health and safety of our staff and the community.”
Tusken notes that the nature of the work of the police department puts employees at risk. However, he assured him: “Under any circumstances, DPD is well-positioned to continue to serve the city of Duluth safely. 911 emergency calls and a response staff are a priority. our first. “
He pointed out that the police department has adopted a number of strategies and practices to minimize the spread in the community both within the force and in the general community. Tusken said that if exposure to the virus is suspected, the police department uses exposure tracking and follows best practices recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Minnesota Department of Health. quarantine staff. Police officers are available to access rapid testing services.
“The DPD will continue to exercise our accountability to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while we serve the city of Duluth,” Tusken said. “We ask for your help in keeping yourself and everyone safe by following Minnesota Department of Health guidelines and wearing a mask, keeping distance from society, washing hands and staying safe. home if you get sick. “
Thursday’s request by the News Tribune for the number of police department employees exposed to and / or infected with coronavirus was denied.
“We respect employee privacy and all disclosures are voluntary. Therefore, we will not disclose the number of positive cases,” said Ingrid Hornibrook, division public information officer. said.
This story was edited at 5:34 pm on November 6 to include previous information about the story from the day before. It was updated again at 6:20 pm that same day to include information on the total number of people working for the police department. The original article is posted at 5:18 pm on November 6.