FRAMINGHAM – One Framingham Police Officer has tested positive for COVID-19, said Framingham Police Chief Steven Trask.
Chief Trask also said eight officers, as of today, are in a self-quarantine.
Framingham Patrolmen’s Union Presidents Ryan Porter said the one male officer is the only one to test positive.
Porter said several of his members have been tested and have tested negative. He said several others are awaiting test results.
Porter said it has been hard for members of his Union to get tested, as several locations will only test first responders if they show symptoms, not if they have been in close contact with an individual who has tested positive.
Governor Baker announced that first responders can get tested at a new facility to be erected at Gillette Stadium thanks in part due to the Kraft family. Yesterday, the Kraft family helped secure 1 million plus N95 masks for the Commonwealth from China.
Acting Fire Chief Michael Dutcher said no firefighters have tested positive for the virus. He has six firefighters who were in quarantine, but as of today, April 3, he has none.
Chief Trask said all officers in his department have been provided one N95 mask. He said they also have gloves, disinfectant, and hand sanitizer.
Other businesses have donated supplies, too, to the police department.
“We are incredibly grateful for the businesses who have donated,” said Porter.
“We are going through hand sanitizer like crazy,” said Porter.
The Chief said the department is in good shape with supplies, but if any businesses (not individuals) wish to donate, they should contact his office or Deputy Police Chief Ron Brandolini.
Both the Chief and the Police Union President stressed the need for the public to let police officers know if they have tested positive, are awaiting test results, or have symptoms when the call for assistance or before a police officer enters their home.
The State issued an order that allows local health departments to share addresses (not names) of those who test positive to police officers and firefighters, but obviously those lists are constantly changing.
Framingham has more than 100 individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, the most in MetroWest. Five individuals have died.
In Masachusetts, more than 10,000 have tested positive for the virus.
“If you call us for help, be upfront with us,” said the Chief. “Let us know if you have symptoms, so the officers can put on the proper PPE before entering a home. In some cases, the officers may ask you to step outside, too.”
Porter said it has made the job challenging. We have to try and keep a social distance from individuals.
“We are trying to handle some calls over the phone, instead of in person,’ said Porter.
“Please be patient with police officers,” said Porter. “We are trying to limit our exposure and still serve the public.”
Ryan said he saw news reports that more than 10% of New York City Police Officers have tested positive.
CNN reported that NYPD’s commissioner Dermont Shea said more than 1,400 officers have tested positive for the virus, while about 17 percent of the officers are out sick.
The Chief said the police station lobby is restricted and that the public should make every effort to call instead of coming into the station.
“Public needs do its part,” said the Chief. “heed the Governo’s advisory. Stay home. Only go out for essential trips to the supermarket or pharmacy. Talk a walk in your neighborhood, but practice social distancing.”
Several local businesses have been supplying meals for first responders, including Ken’s Steak House.
The Chief said unfortunately the officers and the department can not accept home-made goods from the public.