LA Sheriff's Department starts COVID-19 task force to test deputies
LOS ANGELES - In the pouring rain, wearing a mask and gloves, L.A. County Sheriff’s Sgt. Doug Murakami drops off a COVID-19 test kit at the front door of a deputy who thinks he might have coronavirus.
“He contacted us where he says he may have some of the symptoms or he says he was exposed to somebody that may have had it,” said L.A. County Sheriff’s Sgt. Kenji Mashiko.
These sergeants are volunteering to be part of the coronavirus testing task force which was created on March 27 to help first responders get tested easily.
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“My partner he will drop off the box we will call the employee up tell him to open the door and retrieve the box,” said Mashiko.
The sheriff’s department offers at-home tests for those experiencing symptoms and drive-up testing for those who are asymptomatic but think they may have been exposed.
Officials created this instructional video to teach employees how to get a proper specimen.
“Once he finishes he’ll place the box back onto the porch my partner will collect the test kit he’ll secure it into a plastic bag,” said Mashiko.
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It is then taken to a lab for results within 48 hours. For first responders like this deputy who works the streets pandemic or not, duty calls:
“They want to get back to work. They want to help the public out. At the end of the day... They want to get back,” said Mashiko.
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Since the program began, 96 employees have been tested at home... 107 through the drive-thru method. Fortunately, only one person has tested positive so far.