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March 12, 2020

Six Chester County police officers possibly exposed to coronavirus

Illness Coronavirus
Chester County CVD West Goshen Township Police Department/Facebook

The Chester County Health Department is monitoring the cases of six police officers, including four from West Goshen, who had direct contact with an officer in Montgomery County who has been diagnosed with coronavirus. As of March 12, 2020, Chester County has not had any confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Six law enforcement officers in Chester County have been quarantined after possible exposure to coronavirus, potentially making them susceptible as that county's first cases of COVID-19, officials announced.

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 in Montgomery County on Sunday, March 8. That officer has a presumed positive case of coronavirus.

None of the six quarantined officers have displayed symptoms, officials said.

"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," the West Goshen Police Department said of its quarantined 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."

"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," added Chester County Commissioners Chairperson Marian Moskowitz.

Earlier Thursday, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf issued broad restrictions in Montgomery County, where the Lower Providence police officer is one of 13 coronavirus cases.

As of Thursday, Montgomery County had the most COVID-19 patients of any county in Pennsylvania. There were 22 cases statewide Pennsylvania as of Thursday afternoon. 

Neighboring Bucks, Delaware and Philadelphia counties all have reported cases during the past week.

Chester County will continue to monitor the spread of the illness and trace contacts in the region and beyond, officials said.

"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."

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