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Tulsa Police Officer Hospitalized With COVID-19: TPD

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Facebook / Tulsa Police Department
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TPD Chief Wendell Franklin at a Black Lives Matter protest on May 31st.

A Tulsa police officer is currently hospitalized with COVID-19, according to a Tulsa Police Department spokesperson.

Eight members of the department in total have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, and 54 have been placed under quarantine, according to TPD Public Information Officer Jeanne Pierce.

Pierce said it is not known where or how the hospitalized officer contracted the virus.

"We will continue to wear masks and social distance when possible," Pierce wrote in an email.

No further information on the hospitalized officer or the seven additional members who tested positive was made available.

At a June press briefing, TPD Chief Wendell Franklin said that officers are required to wear face coverings in some, but not all, situations.

""They are mandated to wear them inside of the building when they meet for squad meetings, because, again, large gatherings, I don't want someone to have come from a wedding and then introduce that into the squad room, and then my entire shift is no longer, you know, useful out in the field," Franklin said.

But in the field, "[officers] need people to understand exactly, when they tell a person to do something, that they are doing that. I don't want that obscured by a mask. I don't want anything misconstrued from officers when they are out on the scene giving orders," Franklin said.

Gov. Kevin Stitt, who announced Wednesday that he is the first governor in the country to test positive for COVID-19, attended a large gathering of many TPD officers on Thursday: the funeral of slain TPD Sgt. Craig Johnson at Victory Christian Church. A photo of the service posted to TPD social media shows not all attendees wore masks or socially distanced. 

On July 9th, Tulsa Fire Department Chief Michael Baker announced that 17 firefighters had tested positive for COVID-19, and that 51 total were under quarantine. Baker said none of the infections were believed to have been contracted while responding to emergency calls, and that the department's operational capacity was not affected. 

On Thursday afternoon, Baker told Public Radio Tulsa that 94 firefighters were currently quarantined, and that 21 in total have tested positive for the virus since the beginning of the pandemic, with four active cases. He says he expects about 20 of the quarantined firefighters to be cleared to return to work by Monday.

Chris joined Public Radio Tulsa as a news anchor and reporter in April 2020. He’s a graduate of Hunter College and the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, both at the City University of New York.
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