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MBTA Transit Police officers exposed to coronavirus during assault investigation at Back Bay station

Multiple MBTA Transit Police officers were forced into quarantine after they were exposed to COVID-19 during an assault investigation last week at Back Bay station, according to the agency.

Transit Police Superintendent Richard Sullivan confirmed a few details of the investigation in an e-mail message. He said the initial incident involved a private security guard who’s alleged to have assaulted someone inside the station.

“It would be inappropriate for me to comment further on the particulars of the alleged incident while the case is open,” Sullivan wrote. “That being said as a direct result of this investigation TPD officers/detectives did have a COVID-19 exposure and have been forced to quarantine pending test results. I will have no further comment regarding the pending test results of our effected [sic] officers other then [sic] we pray for their health and are hopeful for a quick return to duty.”

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Sullivan declined to specify the precise number of officers who were exposed.

Further information about the case wasn’t immediately available.

Joe Pesaturo, an MBTA spokesman, said Wednesday via e-mail that the transit agency currently has 67 active COVID-19 cases, while 87 employees have recovered. One employee has died from the virus.

Pesaturo said the MBTA’s total workforce numbers 6,385 employees.

The T has continued to operate during the pandemic, and the agency has taken a number of safety precautions including enhancing and expanding “the frequency and intensity of cleaning procedures throughout the system,” the agency says on its website.

“All fleet vehicles (buses, trolleys, subway cars, Commuter Rail coaches, ferries, and RIDE vehicles), are being disinfected on a daily basis. High-contact areas in stations (railings, fare gates, and fare vending machines) are being disinfected every 4 hours,” the site says.

Statewide as of Tuesday, the virus had killed 5,141 people and infected 79,332 Massachusetts residents, according to the state Department of Public Health. Suffolk County had 15,454 cases as of Tuesday.

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The DPH updates the tally daily around 4 p.m.


Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.