CORONAVIRUS

First Cedar Rapids police officer tests positive for coronavirus

A Cedar Rapids Police Officer badge. (The Gazette)
A Cedar Rapids Police Officer badge. (The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — A Cedar Rapids police officer who grew ill at work Monday has tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the department’s first officer confirmed to have the disease, the city said Wednesday.

The officer, described as between 41 and 60, was screened for a fever at the start of the shift but later began experiencing mild symptoms and alerted a supervisor.

The employee was sent home and is now isolating and being monitored, the city said.

Officials were working to trace contacts the officer might have had with other department employees or the public, the city said, and contacting the relevant people.

No other department employee is showing symptoms of the disease.

But Cedar Rapids Public Safety spokesman Greg Buelow told The Gazette that 67 firefighters and 78 police officers have had possible exposure to COVID-19 since March 10.

Dispatchers have issued 244 alerts, he said, which “dispatchers use to let officers or firefighters know that there is an individual at the call for service that has either tested positive for COVID-19 or is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.”

Those alerts, he said, allow the first responders to “take extra precautions for their health and safety, as well the health and safety of others at the call for service.”

Comments: (319) 398-8238; kat.russell@thegazette.com

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