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93 policemen COVID-positive

Police chief didn’t know the extent of force’s COVID-19 infection

Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle said though he knows 85 police officers were in quarantine following COVID-19 exposure, he only learned the total number of officers who were infected “last night like everybody else”.

Rolle was referencing the Ministry of Health press conference Monday evening where officials gave a breakdown of infected people by profession during the second wave, including the uniformed services.

Ninety-three COVID-19 cases in the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) on Grand Bahama and New Providence resulted in 125 contacts, according to data from the Ministry of Health. 

“Nobody from [the Ministry of] Health called me to say that we have some more of the persons infected,” Rolle said.

“I was not afforded that courtesy. What I knew is from officers who reported to me that they had tested positive, I know that and in that case I’m not inclined to discuss it. The people from health discussed it.

“They shared it and my heart goes out for my police officers that serve this country. I would encourage all of them to take care of their health.”

Rolle said 71 officers returned to duty on Monday.

“I know that most of the officers that had tested positive have overcome, have beaten that virus and returned to work,” he said.

“I’m grateful for that and we have to look out for our officers.”

The commissioner said the RBPF is following social distancing and other health protocols in its stations.

He said he is ensuring that the necessary technology is being implemented to protect officers and civilians.

“In the stations, we have put in the temperature sensors,” Rolle said.

“We bought all that the people had. We bought all. I just ordered an additional 70 to make sure that the officers on the Family Islands have access to the technology.”

Rolle said the police force has already spent $250,000 in sanitization of police buildings following COVID exposure.

“We have to take into account the health of the officers [and] the persons who come into our custody,” he said.

“We have to look out for all of them. When we sanitize these stations, we’ve been spending $4,000 a pop. If you just take the major police stations alone, where there are 15 of them here in Nassau, that’s about 60-something thousand dollars…and that’s only the stations.

“That’s not even headquarters and these other departments where we have officers positioned.”

The cases were identified between July 1 and August 23.

New Providence contacts

Fifty-three cases were reported on New Providence.

Thirty of those cases were the result of high-risk exposure to the virus within the force.

Case 1,079 had one contact that had high-risk exposure.

Case 971 had high-risk exposure within the police force.

It also had medium-risk exposure from case 973, which was also the result of high-risk exposure within the force.

Three of case 971’s contacts had high-risk exposure, five had medium risk and three had minimal risk.

Case 363 had one minimal-risk contact which tested positive for COVID. That contact was case 150.

Case 1,067 had three high-risk contacts and six medium-risk contacts.

Case 701 had five high-risk contacts.

Case 599 had one minimal-risk contact who tested positive for the virus. That contact was case 501.

Case 533 had four high-risk contacts and six minimal-risk contacts.

It also had minimal-risk exposure to a case outside the RBPF.

Case 321 was a minimal-risk contact of case 178, which had minimal external exposure, and was also a high-risk contact of case 648.

Case 178 had another minimal-risk contact who later tested positive. That contact was case 331.

Case 961 had seven high-risk contacts, one of whom tested positive as case 872.

Case 872 had one medium-risk contact.

Case 747 had two medium-risk contacts. One of those contacts was case 599.

Case 989 had three medium-risk contacts, one of whom was case 839.

Case 839 was a contact of case 834, who contracted the virus within the force following medium exposure.

No contacts were identified for 18 of the cases that had high-risk exposure.

Nine cases had minimal exposure within the police force.

Case 629 had five high-risk contacts.

Case 875 had four medium-risk contacts.

Case 632 had minimal exposure from case 330 as well as generally within the force.

Another case, which had an illegible case number, had two high-risk contacts, one of whom tested positive as case 959.

No contacts were identified for five of the cases that had minimal-risk exposure.

In total, 75 contacts were identified on New Providence.

Grand Bahama

Forty COVID-19 cases stemmed from the RBPF on Grand Bahama.

Twenty-three of those cases were the result of medium-risk exposure.

Case 948 had two contacts who had high-risk exposure, four with medium risk and two with minimal risk.

One of the medium-risk contacts was case 429, who was also a contact of case 890.

Case 471 had two high-risk contacts, one medium risk and one minimal risk.

Case 892 had one medium-risk contact who was later confirmed as case 947.

Case 947 had two high-risk contacts.

Case 116, another case which initially had medium-risk exposure, was also the minimal-risk contact of case 236.

Case 115 had one medium-risk contact who was confirmed as case 121.

Case 778 had five medium-risk contacts.

Case 889 had one minimal-risk contact.

Fifteen cases had no contacts.

Grand Bahama’s police force had 11 cases that were the result of minimal-risk exposure.

Case 473 had three high-risk contacts.

Case 474 had nine minimal-risk contacts.

Case 480 had one high-risk contact, three medium-risk and 13 minimal-risk.

Case 121, another case who had minimal-risk exposure within the force, was also a medium-risk contact for case 115.

No contacts were identified for seven of the cases who had minimal-risk exposure.

Case 367 was a minimal-risk contact from outside the force.

It had one high-risk contact.

In total, 50 contacts were identified within Grand Bahama’s police force.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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