CHICAGO (CBS) — Only on 2.
Chicago police officers are concerned their department’s COVID-19 policy is putting them at risk.
CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot talked to an officer who said colleagues were exposed to the virus at work, and were told if they don’t have symptoms, they can stay on the job.
On November 7, an officer assigned to the 14th District tested positive for COVID-19. That officer was among many others assigned to start duty aboard a CTA bus.
One Chicago police officer agreed to speak with CBS 2 if their identify was concealed. The officer is from the 14th District and with others was assigned to a CTA bus in the past week. They were driven to the Brickyard Mall at Diversey and Narragansett and the Humboldt Park Boathouse.
“I think it’s unsafe to have people together on one bus,” said the officer.
From there, the officers would be deployed, if needed, from November 3 to the 8th because of the presidential election. During some shifts, they stayed on buses for up to eight hours.
“We’re sitting on the buses. Nobody is wearing masks. We’re all very relaxed. Even in the daily operation of going to roll call, nobody is wearing a mask,” said the officer.
The officer added those who worked with the person who tested positive for the virus were told to fill out an exposure report. If they have no symptoms of COVID-19, they’ve been told they should report back to work.
“I don’t feel that’s safe for myself, my family or my coworkers,” the officer said.
“The officer feels the “no symptoms – go back to work” policy is creating a problem.
“We have seven police officers from the midnight shift and two sergeants that have come positive with COVID-19,” said the officer.
That officer added that as of Monday, five more officers from that district had tested positive for COVID-19, and others are still awaiting results.
CBS 2 reached out to the CTA and the transit agency said that the Chicago Police Department contacted the CTA about the tests that were positive for these other officers. The CTA said that it has made sure the bus operator has been ordered to self-quarantine as a precaution. That bus operator is awaiting results.
The CTA said officers are dropped off at the locations and they do not stay on buses. The Chicago Police Department said officers are being reminded to wear masks in any condition where six feet of social distancing cannot be maintained.
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