Kent County Sheriff John F. Price IV confirmed Wednesday that a deputy sheriff has tested positive for COVID-19.
The deputy came down with symptoms on Thursday, April 23, and a test administered Monday, April 27 came back positive for the virus.
Price said the deputy is home resting in quarantine until May 7.
He said further testing of other deputies would take place if they report symptoms.
Price said he spoke with other deputies to see if they were displaying symptoms.
“I have interviewed all the deputies that were on the shift with this one particular deputy and they all say they are feeling fine,” Price said in a brief phone interview. “They’ve been instructed to call me right away if they experience any symptoms — and a test will be given at that point.”
Price said that the Kent County Health Department offered to test other deputies but the deputies themselves felt they shouldn’t be tested until they display symptoms.
“It was bound to happen at some point and I hope we don’t have more,” Price said. “But we are part of the frontlines and we’re out there with the public.”
He said extreme measures have been taken to protect deputies when responding to calls.
First, callers are vetted through the 911 center to identify anyone who is symptomatic before the deputies arrive at a location.
The deputies have protective clothing, face masks, face shields and rubber gloves. In extreme cases deputies are equipped with the same gas masks used in crowd control situations when tear gas is used.
“We have protocols in place that are above and beyond what is recommended,” Price said. He said police always have N95 masks on during traffic stops and encounters with the general public.