Officials said Wednesday that more than 2,000 officers and deputies from the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department are sick or quarantined after testing positive for the coronavirus.
Det. Meghan Aguilar of the LAPD confirmed that 1,134 officers, out of a total of 12,200, are currently at home, including 898 sworn officers. These figures are up 42% from the 803 officers who were sent on January 11.
According to Aguilar, an LAPD officer with a coronavirus illness misses 20 days of work on average, while a civilian employee misses 33 days. Officials pointed out that the average does not include personnel who have had long-term COVID-19 instances and have spent months recovering.
The new data mark a significant increase from the 82 new cases reported by LAPD officers in the week leading up to Christmas, and from less than 30 new cases per week just a month earlier.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department had 874 employees quarantined on Wednesday, out of a total of nearly 18,000, including 618 sworn officers.
This month, the Los Angeles Police Department has seen a spike in the number of vaccinated officers and other employees testing positive. On January 1, 22.2% of those who tested positive had been vaccinated, but on January 15, that figure had grown to 43.3%.
According to officials, the Omicron coronavirus type is causing more breakthrough cases among vaccinated workers while also presenting less severe symptoms.
Early this month, LAPD Chief Michel Moore appeared alongside Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas to inform residents that the departments were still trying to fill patrol shifts and responding to fires despite the city’s growing number of ill and quarantining officers, firefighters, and paramedics. At the time, there were just over 500 LAPD officers on the streets, which was less than half of the amount this week.
Moore noted at the time that the LAPD needed to pull “more levers” to stay under its minimal patrol obligations.
According to the National Law Enforcement Memorial and Museum, COVID-19 was the biggest cause of death for law enforcement officers in the United States last year, with 301 officers succumbing to the disease.
Meanwhile, the coronavirus has infected 4,676 employees and 5,080 inmates in California’s jails.
Image Credit: Getty
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