The City of Durango and San Juan Basin Public Health have identified a COVID-19 outbreak within the Durango Police Department. Six police employees tested positive for COVID-19 the week of Jan. 31.
The city is working with the health agency to help mitigate the outbreak and the police department will remain open, with no impact on service. Employees who tested positive were able to isolate, and healthy staff were available to cover shifts if needed, said Brice Current, deputy chief of police.
State and local cases have risen dramatically, and the health agency is reporting more positive cases and transmission of COVID-19 than at any time during the nearly two-year pandemic. The local surge in cases has been attributed to the highly transmissible Omicron variant. There are 12 outbreaks currently in La Plata County.
“We are still covering the street and balancing the need to contact individuals with the need to keep the city safe,” Current said. “The rate of exposure has not affected our ability to provide service. Officers have been very good at reporting symptoms early and quarantining for the recommended time before returning to work.”
The police department has been very strict about wearing masks in the office, separating officer workspaces, sanitizing cars, reporting symptoms and following CDC guidelines. Most officers work in a car by themselves but wear a mask when training. Cleaning crews wipe down the building daily.
Vaccines and boosters are widely available and will help prevent hospitalization and severe illness if you are infected. Find vaccine clinic information and isolation and quarantine guidance on the San Juan Basin Public Health website.