The NYPD has announced that an employee has died from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for the first time and the department's deputy commissioner has been hospitalized with symptoms of the virus as thousands of police officers and FDNY members are out sick.
"We are sad to announce the passing of our own NYPD family member, Custodial Assistant Dennis Dickson," the department announced on Twitter. "Mr. Dickson faithfully served this department for 14 yrs & is the 1st member to succumb to the COVID-19 virus. Our thoughts go out to his loved ones during this difficult time."
In a statement, the NYPD said Dickson was on the front line cleaning and disinfecting 1 Police Plaza "so that personnel could be here safely, allowing them to continue to serve the people of the City Of New York."
In addition to the department's first death, Deputy Commissioner John Miller has reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 and is being treated at Lenox Hill Hospital.
More than 350 cops have tested positive for the coronavirus, the department has said, with other awaiting test results.
On Thursday, March 26, some 3,700 officers called in sick, reported the New York Post, which obtained records from each department.
In addition Commissioner Miller, Deputy Commissioner for Employee Relations Robert L. Ganley and NYPD Transit Bureau Chief Edward Delatorre have also tested positive for COVID-19, the Post added.
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