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WBNS-10TV Columbus, Ohio | Columbus News, Weather & Sports |

Columbus police confirm first case of COVID-19 within division; announce staffing changes

The Columbus Division of Police says an officer within the division has tested positive for COVID-19.
File Photo - Columbus Police (WBNS-10TV)

COLUMBUS, Ohio The Columbus Division of Police says an officer within the division has tested positive for COVID-19.

According to the division, the officer is not assigned to patrol.

Additionally, Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan says the division is making staffing changes in the event officers are exposed to the disease.

The department is moving patrol to 32 hours per week, or four-day work weeks. They will then work an 8 hour shift on stand-by. The department says this will reduce their social interactions by 20 percent.

The officers will also be ready to work, if needed, if several other officers are out sick. Quinlan says the changes are being made to ensure that there will be enough healthy officers on the force.

According to Quinlan, the officer who tested positive learned they were likely exposed, called off, self-quarantined and self-monitored and sought testing. The positive test came back Saturday.

Quinlan says no one else in the division was affected by the positive test, though other officers are in self-quarantine or in self-monitoring situations due to other exposures.

Dr. Amy Acton, the head of the Ohio Department of Health, says the state could see as many as 10,000 daily cases when the outbreak reaches its expected peak.

The changes will go into effect starting on Sunday at 6 a.m.

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