Emily Allen Published

City Says Two Charleston Cops Have COVID-19

Charleston Police Car

Two Charleston police officers tested positive for the coronavirus Thursday, after the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department helped facilitate a mobile testing site for staff and their families. 

Both officers were in contact with the public last week. The health department began contact tracing Thursday to identify individuals police approached who may need coronavirus testing.

The health department tested officers and other staff after one employee tested positive for the coronavirus on Sunday, according to city spokesperson Mackenzie Spencer. The employee didn’t have any contact with the public and hasn’t been to the office since Friday, June 10. 

Charleston officers must wear face coverings, unless it impedes their ability to make and respond to radio calls or unless it fogs up their glasses while they’re responding to an emergency call, according to Charleston Police Chief James Hunt.

On June 26, the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department reported three officers and one support staffer tested positive for the coronavirus. 

The Morgantown Police Department learned on July 7 one of its employees had tested positive. The employee had no contact with anyone outside the office during work, according to a release from the department, and all staff who had close contact with the employee were asked to self-isolate for two weeks.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends all essential employees, including law enforcement personnel, wear a mask while working, maintain a distance of six feet from others when appropriate, and regularly check for COVID-19 symptoms. West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice issued an executive order that took effect on July 7, requiring all West Virginians to wear face coverings while indoors away from home.

Emily Allen is a Report for America corps member.