STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) — Employees at the Stockton Police Department are on alert after one of their own tests positive for COVID-19.
Police Chief Eric Jones told FOX40 Tuesday that the civilian employee is a code enforcement officer who is now at home self-isolating.
“The employee had some mild symptoms and actually went on their own to get tested and then found out they were in fact tested positive for COVID-19,” said Jones. “We’re definitely hoping for him to have a very speedy recovery.”
According to Jones, code enforcement officers are part of the neighborhood services unit and are considered essential workers because they help protect public safety.
“There are still potential building codes that could put people in danger. If certain things aren’t taken care of, there may be fire hazards,” explained Jones.
Jones said immediately after being notified of the positive case, the department disinfected the employee’s workstation.
“This individual had very, very little contact with actual community members and when so, did have PPE or a face mask on and was from a significant distance,” said Jones.
In addition to wearing masks, Jones said all employees also have their temperature taken as they come into work to try and stop the virus from spreading within the department.
“I think it’s important for myself and my supervisors in the department to take this seriously but also show, through calm leadership, that we’re going to get through this as a department, just like this community, just like this state, just like this nation are going through it,” said Jones.
In an effort to be transparent, Stockton police officials confirmed the first positive case on social media and said they’ve seen an outpouring of get-well wishes and heartfelt support since.
“To get that type of appreciation, during a time of great stress is, you know, helpful for the employees that have to do this work day in and day out,” said Jones.
Police officials said no other code enforcement officers in the neighborhood services section are showing symptoms or have tested positive.