Four Capitol Police officers test positive for novel coronavirus

Officers concerned about transmitting the virus to high-risk people they live with will be offered hotel accommodations by the force

Four Capitol Police officers have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. (CQ Roll Call)
Four Capitol Police officers have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. (CQ Roll Call)
Posted April 2, 2020 at 12:54pm

Four Capitol Police officers have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to people familiar with the department’s statistics.

Chief Steven A. Sund said in an email sent out Wednesday night that the Office of the Attending Physician is aware of the four cases and that the department has taken “appropriate action” to identify any employees who may need to be quarantined.

[Full Capitol Police force not receiving coronavirus tests]

“The Department has notified the Office of Attending Physician (OAP) and has taken the appropriate action to identify any individuals who may require additional monitoring for periods of quarantine. The Department will also work with the Architect of the Capitol to identify and treat offices and locations that could have surface contaminants. It is the Department’s intention to notify its employees of the confirmed case and assure them that proper precautionary measures are being taken,” Sund wrote.

Beginning Friday, there will be limited food delivery for those working, Sund announced. Further, he said officers who are worried about transmitting the coronavirus to high-risk people they live with will be offered hotel accommodations by the Capitol Police.

“Effective Friday, we are implementing limited food delivery for the personnel working, in order [to reduce] the need for personnel to leave campus and reduce social interaction that can lead to community transmission. In addition, we will offer personnel who have expressed concern for at risk populations at home to utilize local hotel accommodations,” Sund wrote.

The tone is a stark departure from a March 20 email in which Sund told the head of the Capitol Police labor union, Gus Papathanasiou, that testing for the full force was unnecessary.

“No USCP officers have been identified to be at high risk and no testing required,” Sund said.

Eva Malecki, a spokesperson for the Capitol Police, did not immediately return a request for comment.