CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Police as of Saturday had confirmed a total of 91 cases of COVID-19 within the department.
Police said 89 officers and two civilian employees of the department now have tested positive for COVID-19, a memo supplied by a source said.
The department saw its first confirmed coronavirus case more than two weeks ago, when a detective and a family member tested positive on March 19.
One officer so far, Officer Marco DiFranco, 50, has died of complications from the virus. DiFranco, a 21-year veteran of the force, died early Thursday, after testing positive for COVID-19 last week. He was hospitalized over the weekend, and the mayor said he died after the severity of his illness became overwhelming.
DiFranco’s death has been ruled to have happened in the line of duty, meaning his family will receive full financial benefits, Interim Police Supt. Charlie Beck said Friday.
Interim Police Supt. Charlie Beck has said, due to the coronavirus outbreak, as many officers as possible are working alone, but he noted parts of the city have too much violence for it to be safe to run one-officer cars exclusively. However, due to the pandemic, when officers are paired up, they are working with the same partner as often as possible to minimize the chances of spreading of the virus.
Last week, the CPD said it was shifting schedules at Public Safety Headquarters and the Bureau of Internal Affairs in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19. On Monday, sworn personnel assigned to headquarters, the Force Review Division, and the Bureau of Internal Affairs began working days, afternoons and midnights to reduce contact. Beginning Thursday, they also instituted a 4-2 schedule, meaning four days on and two days off.