Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office sees spike in COVID-19 among employees

Reporter: Gail Levy Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Charlotte County Sheriff's Office
Credit: WINK News.

Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office announced in a press release Monday Florida Department of Health in Charlotte County has “categorized the sheriff’s office as an outbreak location for the coronavirus.”

According to the press release, CCSO has confirmed 34 positive COVID-19 cases among personnel in August, so it’s making some changes to slow the spread. Twenty of that total tested positive for COVID-19 last week. It says eight more cases were confirmed Monday.

CCSO says it’s going to follow all of the CDC’s guidelines to keep deputies, staff and the community safe.

But with the number of employees currently off the job due to COVID-19, CCSO is suspending all fingerprinting services offered to the public.

“This delta variant is just spreading like wildfire,” said Dr. Susan Hook with Samaritan Health and Wellness Center.

This uptick is keeping some deputies off the streets. For Hook, that’s a worry that goes beyond health.

“Who fills in for them? Who’s doing their job?” Hook said. “That’s a concern.”

COVID-19 is keeping more and more people away from their jobs. Dr. Hook sees it all the time.

“From where I sit in, the number of patients that are calling Samaritan and telling us they’re positive, they’re, they’re very sick,” Hook said. “Most of the patients that have been calling us are unvaccinated.”

Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office is also postponing its citizens police academy classes. They were slated to begin in early September, but the sheriff’s office didn’t say how long it will be pushed back.

For business that does not need in-person contact, CCSO asks the public to call 941-639-0013 for assistance.

CCSO says it will continue to serve the public with a professional approach even during the challenging times.

As for employees who tested positive for COVID-19 being vaccinated or not, the sheriff’s office didn’t say. But Hook wants to recommend the COVID-19 vaccine for everyone.

“This is a virus that for, most people, they get it; they recover in a timely manner,” Hook said. “But for a lot of people that don’t recover in a timely manner, they have to go to the hospital, and some of them die. So if we can prevent some of that by getting fully vaccinated as a community, that’s my recommendation.”

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