27 LAPD employees have long COVID, chief says

One officer has been recovering in a hospital since late last year, Chief Michel Moore said


By Josh Cain
Los Angeles Daily News
        
LOS ANGELES — At least 27 Los Angeles Police Department employees have long COVID, the chief of police said Tuesday.

Chief Michel Moore told the Los Angeles Police Commission on Tuesday that all of those employees, who included sworn officers and civilian staff, were still suffering COVID-19 symptoms after first being infected with the virus “weeks or months ago.” He said all would continue to be considered “long-term COVID recoveries” until they’re able to come back to work.

“We will continue to ensure that they have ready access to the best medical advice and treatment as possible,” he told the commissioners.

LAPD Chief Michel Moore
LAPD Chief Michel Moore (Keith Birmingham/Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

Among those employees, one officer has been recovering in a hospital since late last year, with Moore detailing his ongoing recovery at nearly every police commission meeting in 2022.

Last week, Moore said the officer was still in “very serious condition.”

Symptoms associated with long COVID include severe fatigue, which some have said prevents them from doing even everyday activities. Patients have also reported cognitive problems, like “brain fog,” as well as chest pains and shortness of breath.

Like in much of the rest of the Los Angeles area, the rate of exposure to COVID-19 and infections among LAPD employees has slowed down significantly from the worst waves of the virus last year. During the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, in some weeks at least 77 employees were being infected a day, Moore said.

For the past few weeks, however, LAPD has seen about one new infection every two days. In the last week, LAPD had just one new case, Moore said.

That brought the total number of infections in the department to 5,269 since March 2020.

The slowdown comes amid a receding threat from the coronavirus as new cases slow down and more people get fully vaccinated. Health officials, however, have cautioned that the United States has been seeing a rise in cases in some areas from infections due to the BA.2 subvariant of Omicron.

The rapid drop off in infections among LAPD staff also followed the department getting the vast majority of its employees vaccinated against the virus. Around 80% of the department was at least partially vaccinated, according to the most recent numbers given by Moore. The chief has stopped reporting the vaccination rate of officers in his weekly reports to the commission.
     
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