A U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) employee has tested positive for the Chinese coronavirus, it was confirmed Sunday.
The employee, believed to be a police officer assigned to the House chamber, has been in quarantine since March 18. The department has also contacted those who were in contact with the individual.
“The department has taken, and will continue to take, all the necessary steps to ensure that any affected work areas or facilities were properly cleaned,” USCP said in a statement.
“The USCP is working closely with the Office of Attending Physician, Congressional leadership, and the Architect of the Capitol, and our focus is on the health and well-being of our employees,” the statement added.
The news comes as police departments across the country, particularly the New York Police Department (NYPD), battle the virus that is ravaging their communities. NYPD Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said on Sunday he expects the number of positive coronavirus cases within the department to jump to 900 by Monday — up from 300 from Saturday.
“We know that those numbers are going to continually grow,” Shea said. “We’re looking at both sides of the spectrum, quite frankly: what is the current sick rate as officers are still becoming infected? And when is that beginning to plateau?”
Three members of the NYPD have died as a result of the virus assailing New York.
The state has nearly 60,000 cases and 965 related deaths.