A Superior police officer has tested positive for COVID-19. Patrol Captain Paul Winterschedt said the officer experienced mild symptoms and is currently self-isolating at home. It is, he said, the first positive case for the department.
Because it’s likely officers will be exposed to COVID-19 during the course of their duties, Winterscheidt said the department has instituted protocols to prevent officer-to-officer and officer-community transmission of the virus. That includes following state mandates and Centers for Disease Control guidelines.
The measures the police department had in place worked, said Douglas County Public Health Officer Kathy Ronchi, because the number of people who were potentially exposed before the officer found he was symptomatic was small.
“The sheriff’s department and the police department have been very, very good about following things pretty closely,” she said. “They have so much contact with people.”
Law enforcement officers are using physical distancing, masks and handwashing, Ronchi said, trying to limit physical contact and deescalate situations
“This is something I give them a lot of credit for,” she said. “They put themselves at risk all the time.”
Police department officials also said they believe their precautions have worked well so far.
“We also recognize it is likely more officers will contract this virus in the coming months and possibly years,” Winterscheidt said. “Depending on the number of cases we experience, we can modify work schedules and work groups to further limit the potential of officer-to-officer spread.”