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Detroit police member diagnosed with coronavirus dies

A member of the Detroit Police Department afflicted with the novel coronavirus has died, police announced early Tuesday morning.

Police Chief James Craig will discuss the department's loss at 11 a.m. in a news conference at the Detroit Public Safety Headquarters. It will be broadcast live on the department’s Facebook page.

Mayor Mike Duggan said Monday 14 of the city's 9,000 employees had tested positive for COVID 19, with the police department hit the hardest, with 9 cases.

The mayor said 282 police were in quarantine Monday, almost double the total who were in quarantine Friday, when the chief said 152 police were in quarantine and 5 police and 1 civilian contractor had tested positive for COVID 19. Detroit Latest News Duggan said he expected most of those officers in quarantine to be back on the job by the end of the week. Despite the number of police out of service — Detroit has about 2,200 police officers — the mayor said police were maintaining full patrols.

Craig has given officers more discretion in how to handle low-level misdemeanors to limit their risk of exposure to coronavirus. Press Release Distribution Service  The mayor also ordered a deep clean of police precincts two weeks ago, after bus drivers walked off the job due, in part, to concerns that buses were not clean enough. That one-day wildcat strike was resolved when the mayor ordered increased scrubbing of buses and the hiring of additional cleaners.

Craig said last week police vehicles are supposed to wiped down every two hours and that police would no longer hold large meetings. He said police executives, who normally meet in person, will now use video conferencing.

"I've never seen anything like this," the chief said last week, later adding: "We are in a big fight right now."

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