Six police officers may have been exposed to Coronavirus

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The Chester County Commissioners and County Health officials announced Thursday the possible exposure to coronavirus (COVID-19) of a small number of county-based law enforcement officials who were responding to an incident in West Chester on Sunday, March 8, 2020.

Four West Goshen Police Officers and two Chester County Sheriff K-9 Deputies had direct contact with a K-9 Officer from Lower Providence Township who now has a presumed positive case of coronavirus.  The direct exposure of the law enforcement individuals occurred during the Arbour Square bomb threat incident on Sunday.

All six Chester County-based officers have been quarantined and none of them have displayed any symptoms of coronavirus.

Chester County Health Department Director Jeanne Casner said, “Staff in the Health Department are now undertaking a standard contact tracing investigation on all six individuals, but there is minimal risk to anyone who has come into contact with them because they are not showing any symptoms.”

West Goshen Police Chief Joe Gleason commented, “We are working closely with the Chester County Health Department and Department of Emergency Services regarding this incident and appreciate the clear advice given regarding the four officers.  We are following the Health Department’s recommendations for law enforcement regarding personal contacts, keeping safe distances, and no direct physical contact if possible.”

Chester County Commissioners’ Chair Marian Moskowitz said, “The Chester County Health Department has prepared for situations such as this, and staff in the department have taken measures – alongside the state Department of Health, adjoining county health departments and our Department of Emergency Services – to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.

“The department has provided, and continues to provide comprehensive, yet easy to understand information on everything coronavirus, through direct contact with schools, businesses, community and faith-based groups, as well as accurate information for all our residents.  The Health Department remains a trusted source of information for everyone in the County, and we thank Director Casner and her staff who have been working around the clock for weeks now, to ensure the information is accurate and timely.

“They are doing everything possible to keep Chester County healthy during this time.”

Chester County currently has no presumed positive or confirmed cases of coronavirus.

“The message to all residents remains the same, and cannot be stressed enough.  If you experience any flu-like symptoms, please call your doctor as soon as possible and follow treatment instructions,” said Jeanne Casner, Director of the Chester County Health Department.

“Daily preventative actions – washing hands, covering a cough or sneeze with your sleeve or elbow, staying home when you are sick and disinfecting objects and surfaces frequently – can  help stop the spread of this and other respiratory viruses.”

Specifically, the Health Department advises:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands;
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
  • Stay home when you are sick;
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or flexed elbow;
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

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