SALT LAKE CITY — There are currently a dozen members of the Salt Lake Police Department on home quarantine and administrative leave.
Seven work in various office capacities, but Fox 13 has confirmed that five uniformed officers were possibly exposed to coronavirus at the same incident on Wednesday.
A Sergeant and four officers responded to a report of several people who were squatting in some vacant homes in the area of 1000 West, between North Temple and South Temple.
Seven individuals were ordered out of the buildings and almost immediately, at least two of them, showed symptoms of possible COVID-19 infection.
"Our officers, in the process of bringing those people out, were in close proximity to them," said Detective Greg Wilking. "We‘re concerned about their well-being, we called medical out to check out the individuals, but obviously we weren’t able to test them and so out of an abundance of caution we put the five officers on quarantine, administrative leave.”
Detective Wilking also said that this is the new normal now, essentially taking a "better safe than sorry" approach in terms of officer safety.
The hope is they are fine and will be back to work in two weeks.
In terms of public safety, Wilking said the department has a system in place where certain officers are held back from front line duty and working from home, ready to report to the front lines if additional officers end up on home quarantine.
Two weeks ago, Fox13 reported on a handful of Salt Lake City Police officers were placed on home quarantine and administrative leave, two of whom were working that last Utah Jazz home game and those officers are fine and back to work.