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St. Louis police’s central patrol has ‘significant’ COVID-19 outbreak

St. Louis police’s central patrol has ‘significant’ COVID-19 outbreak

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ST. LOUIS — St. Louis police’s Central Patrol Division has a “significant” COVID-19 outbreak, according to an email sent to officers Friday and obtained by the Post-Dispatch.

The email did not identify how many officers tested positive, but an officer who works in the Central Patrol Division said at least 10 officers at the station have tested positive and 20 are quarantined. The officer asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation.

Representatives for St. Louis police declined to release information about the outbreak to the Post-Dispatch, instead directing questions to the city health department.

The central station is home to third- and fourth-district officers, who serve neighborhoods such as downtown, Soulard, midtown and Jeff-Vander-Lou.

A top police official at police headquarters previously denied another police official’s request to temporarily close the central station and send officers to various other locations, as the department did earlier in the pandemic, said an officer in the Central Patrol Division.

In the email to officers Friday, police officials said officers in the third district would now be moved to satellite locations after the “dramatic” increase in cases.

The station’s entire detective bureau is quarantined, said the officer with the Central Patrol Division. In all, the station is home to about 250 to 300 officers.

In March, the traffic division for St. Louis police was quarantined after one sergeant tested positive for COVID-19. Since then, police officials have released little information about positive tests in the department.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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