The number of NYPD members out sick dropped for the third straight day on Sunday as officials took a more optimistic view of the spread of coronavirus among its members.
The department announced that 6,522 members, or 18 percent of the force, was on sick report. The department hit a high of 19.8 percent on Friday, but according to Commissioner Dermot Shea, more than 600 had returned to active duty.
Of those reporting sick, 2,344 uniformed officers and 489 civilians had tested positive for the coronavirus. Seventeen of its members have died of the illness, including Bronx Detective Cedric Dixon and Police Officer Eric Murray, who was assigned to Manhattan’s 25th Precinct.
“We’re mourning, we’re hurting. We’ve lost a lot of good people,” Shea on Friday of the 17 fatalities. “I hope there’s not an 18th [death]. I hope that everyone has a speedy recovery in the hospital, that they’re getting the best possible healthcare they can, [and] that everyone is fighting through this.”
Shea said on Friday that officers needed to continue to practice social distancing on the beat and in the station house, and to use masks, gloves and protective gear. On Thursday, the department distributed 28,000 N95 masks, 53,000 surgical masks and 19,000 pairs of gloves to its officers. Shea noted that they had an ample supply of PPE going forward.
In the meantime, the NYPD continues to visit restaurants, bars, supermarkets, salons and public spaces to remind individuals of the ban on congregating in public spaces and to practice social distancing.
Between 8 a.m. April 11 and 8 a.m. April 12, NYPD officers visited 2,613 supermarkets, of which 1,313 were closed; 7,056 bars and restaurants, of which 5,532 were closed; 1,273 public places of which 841 were closed; and 3,015 personal care facilities of which 3,015 were closed.
There were no arrests or summonses issued in regard to these visits.
This story originally appeared on amny.com.