Five Dallas Officers Sent Home After Possible COVID-19 Exposure

UPDATED to include comment from the Dallas city manager’s office.

Five Dallas police officers came in contact with a man that may have the coronavirus, the department confirmed Monday.

Dallas police spokesperson Mitchell Warren said that the officers responded to a disturbance call Sunday at 9 a.m. at an apartment in Old East Dallas, between Live Oak and Greenville Avenue.

“When officers arrived, Dallas Fire and Rescue had transported the arrested person, 24-year-old white male, to an area hospital for injuries he sustained from an assault,” Warren said. “The arrested suspect was treated by medical staff and released back to Dallas officers where he was transported to jail and charged with Assault Family Violence.”

Later that day, around 10:30 p.m., jail officers notified Dallas police of the possible COVID-19 case involving the man, and he was taken by private ambulance to Parkland Hospital.

“Per our contagious disease policy, all five officers that came in contact with the arrested person were notified of the potential exposure and was given a day off for precautionary reasons,” Warren said, adding that all officers were expected to be back at work for their next shift, and that all five marked squad cars are being cleaned.

“Members of the department are currently working with medical professionals to draft a protocol for officers to ensure their safety,” he added.

Parkland confirmed that they are monitoring the man.

“Appropriate action was taken with City personnel who interacted with this individual and have been released to full duty with no restrictions,” the city manager’s office said in a statement late Tuesday night. “Over the next few days and weeks, we anticipate that events such as this will become more common.

“We are confident that we have appropriate procedures in place to minimize the risks to our first responders and we are working with our partners at Dallas County Health and Human Services to ensure we have best practices in place.”

So far, there have been no confirmed cases in Dallas County.

Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson, deputy editor at People Newspapers, cut her teeth on community journalism, starting in Arkansas. Recently, she's taken home a few awards for her writing, including first place for her tornado coverage from the National Newspapers Association's 2020 Better Newspaper Contest, a Gold award for Best Series at the 2018 National Association of Real Estate Editors journalism awards, a 2018 Hugh Aynesworth Award for Editorial Opinion from the Dallas Press Club, and a 2019 award from NAREE for a piece linking Medicaid expansion with housing insecurity. She is a member of the Education Writers Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Real Estate Editors, the News Leaders Association, the News Product Alliance, and the Online News Association. She doesn't like lima beans, black licorice or the word synergy. You can reach her at bethany.erickson@peoplenewspapers.com.

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