The four officers were on personal leave and had traveled to Spain, which was not on the CDC’s list of countries with a coronavirus advisory at the time of their trip.
When they returned to the United States on March 10, they were asked not to return to work for a 14-day period.
“We asked these officers not to return from work because we are taking every step to keep our officers healthy and safe,” said Police Chief Jason Thody. “Along with other first responders, we are ready and committed to serving our community during this pandemic.”
Bronin said it’s that fast acting that might have saved the department from getting the virus.
“The fact that they had not reported for duty since coming back in all likelihood minimize the number of potential exposures within our police department,” he said.
WATCH: Mayor Luke Bronin’s full press conference regarding the four officers testing positive for COVID-19 and the new restrictions
However, Connecticut State Police have a plan in place if more officers go down.
“As the police departments get sick and the officers get sick, they will get assistance from the state, it goes beyond that, it goes to communication and resources, technical equipment for the officers throughout the state,” Brain Foley said.
A fifth officer, who was in contact off-duty with one of the officers prior to receiving the test results, is also at home and will be tested.
None of the officers appear to have severe symptoms and are self-isolated at their homes.
The Hartford Police Department has been deep cleaned, along with other city facilities, and the department is cleaning cars after every use. Officers are also implementing social distancing during everyday activities.
Bronin also released the following statement:
We are going to see many cases of coronavirus throughout our state and our community in the weeks ahead, but asking these officers not to return to work was the right decision, and may have significantly limited exposures over the past ten days inside the Hartford Police Department.
This demonstrates why we are being so careful to impose tight restrictions, even when those restrictions exceed what is legally mandated or explicitly addressed in CDC guidelines. We need to do everything we can to keep first responders, healthcare professionals, others who provide essential services, and our community as a whole as healthy as possible. We wish these officers a quick recovery, and we’re grateful for their commitment to our city.– Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin