NEW YORK – The New York Police Department said it has lost another member to Covid-19, bringing the total number of virus-related NYPD deaths to 29.
"I'm saddened to announce the passing of another beloved member of our NYPD family, Traffic Enforcement Agent Jason Lewis, who died yesterday of complications from #COVID19," NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea tweeted on Sunday.
"The prayers & sympathy of the entire NYPD are with Jason's loved ones & friends during this painful time," Shea wrote.
More than 4,000 members of the NYPD have tested positive for the virus, the NYPD said in its daily report. As of Saturday, 5,324 uniformed members of the NYPD -- about 14.7% of the uniformed work force -- were out sick.
At one point, almost 20% of the force was out sick, the department said, and more than 2,000 have returned to work after recovering.
Of those out sick, about 1,855 uniformed members and 375 civilian members have been diagnosed with coronavirus.
Shea said Thursday all NYPD members will wear black mourning bands across their shields to commemorate those who have died, and all NYPD, New York City and American flags would be lowered to half-mast at all police facilities.
"This unprecedented crisis has already taken a significant toll on our NYPD family," Shea said in a letter to the department. "We do not know how long it will last, so we will continue to honor our colleagues in this way for the foreseeable future."
"We do know we will emerge stronger on the other side together. And we vow to never forget our heroes' service and sacrifice. Thank you for everything you do every day, and please, stay safe."
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday total hospitalization rates have declined across the state.
"If the data holds and if this trend holds, we are past the high point and all indications at this point are that we are on the descent," Cuomo said.
He warned that restrictive measures are still needed to prevent the numbers from rising again.
“Whether or not the descent continues depends on what we do,” the governor said.