SAN ANTONIO – The first San Antonio police officer to test positive for the new coronavirus came in contact with 39 residents while working, according to the Metropolitan Health District.
On Monday, city officials confirmed that the officer contracted the virus while traveling.
The officer, a 7-year veteran, came into into contact with a family member who may have also contracted the virus in mid-March, sources told KSAT. He worked more than four days after he was potentially exposed to the virus.
SAPD officials have not said exactly when the officer was exposed to the virus or when he stopped working.
During a contact tracing investigation, officials determined on Thursday that the officer had contact with the residents as a result of a traffic stop or accident that he handled, according to the news release.
The exposure, however, was determined to be “low or negligible risk," according to a form letter Metro Health sent out to the residents who interacted with the officer.
“This letter is to notify you that you interacted with a San Antonio Police Department officer who was diagnosed with COVID-19. After an investigation by the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District(Metro Health), your exposure — involvement in a traffic accident or receipt of a ticket — was classified as low or negligible risk,” wrote Dr. C.Junda Woo, the medical director and local health authority for Metro Health. “... Because of community transmission of the novel coronavirus, everyone going out in public is at low risk for exposure to COVID-19 — this is why social distancing is critical at this phase in the pandemic."
Anyone who interacted with the officer is encouraged to monitor their symptoms. If they develop a cough, fever or shortness a breath within the next two weeks, they’re advised to call the COVID-19 hotline at 210-207-5779 for guidance.
Since the first officer tested positive for the virus, two others in a different unit have also tested positive. Those two cases are believed to be unrelated to the first one.
COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March.
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