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Dozens of Las Vegas police employees report ‘workplace exposure’

Updated March 19, 2020 - 2:38 pm

Las Vegas police said on Thursday that 48 employees have reported “workplace exposure” amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The information was released in the form of a legal statement to the Las Vegas Review-Journal after the newspaper asked if any Las Vegas police officers were under observation or quarantine after COVID-19 exposure during calls for service.

Metropolitan Police Department spokeswoman Alejandra Zambrano read the legal statement over the phone. It explained that workers’ compensation eligibility requires that employees give notice of any injury or exposure, and 48 employees recently gave a “workplace exposure” notice.

In a subsequent news release, the department clarified, “This does not mean 48 employees have been exposed to COVID-19 or have come in contact with someone who has it. It also does not indicate that there are any presumptive positives in this group.”

The department declined to say whether the people in question are civilian employees or sworn officers, which would include patrol officers, corrections officers, detectives, ranked officers and the department’s top brass.

Metro employs nearly 4,000 sworn officers, according to records as recent as January.

The news release stated that the 48 employees who gave notice did so “out of an abundance of caution.”

“These cases may involve individuals who aren’t presenting symptoms of COVID-19,” according to the release. “These could also be cases of the common cold, allergies, the flu, or anything else that would result in a report.”

The department also declined to say whether any reported “workplace exposure” happened in a Metro building, including the department’s headquarters or substations around the valley, or if any exposure happened while on calls for service.

“The LVMPD is tracking this information to understand how this is affecting our workforce,” according to the department.

Las Vegas police announced Wednesday that substation front offices are temporarily closed to the public amid the pandemic, as well as the department’s records and fingerprint bureau, evidence vault section and special investigations section.

Clark County fire on Wednesday said four firefighters are staying home after possible COVID-19 exposure during a medical call. Another is staying home after a recent trip to Europe.

North Las Vegas and Henderson fire said no firefighters were under observation or quarantine as of Wednesday. The city of Las Vegas on behalf of the Las Vegas Fire Department declined to say.

Henderson and North Las Vegas police also said no officers were under observation or quarantine as of Wednesday.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Contact Rachel Crosby at rcrosby@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3801. Follow @rachelacrosby on Twitter.

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