A Boston police officer has tested positive for the coronavirus, and he will remain at home until he is medically cleared, the department said.
The police department learned of the case on Saturday, according to Sergeant Detective John Boyle, a police spokesman. Boyle said it was not clear whether the officer had contracted the illness on the job or elsewhere.
“The health and safety of our officers is the utmost priority,” Boyle said. “Once we were notified of the case, the department began a thorough cleaning and disinfection of the facility where the employee worked.”
Boston police did not release the location where the officer worked. Boyle said the department will be able to safely continue operating as it had before the positive test. He said he did not know of any other officers suffering from symptoms of the virus known as COVID-19.
Law enforcement agencies across Massachusetts and beyond have been grappling with how to do their jobs effectively while minimizing the spread of the virus. Some agencies here, including State Police, have been increasingly relying on summonses rather than arrests except in the case of serious crimes.
In Boston, Boyle said police have been following the guidelines issued by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. City leadership has previously said that crime has been down as the pandemic plays out here, which has helped reduce risks.
Recent news out of Detroit underscored the extent to which the virus can affect operations at a big-city police department. The Detroit Free Press reported on Friday that 152 police officers were out of service after five tested positive for COVID-19.
Andy Rosen can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @andyrosen.