LOS ANGELES - Eighty-four Los Angeles Police Department employees tested positive for COVID-19 in the last week and two additional employees were hospitalized, according to LAPD Chief Michel Moore, who said Tuesday it was a "substantial increase" from last week.
A total of 2,977 employees have tested positive for the virus as of Monday, and the increase in the last week is almost double the number who tested positive the previous week, when 45 LAPD employees tested positive for the virus. Two employees were hospitalized this week, but the four who were in the hospital last week were released and are at home recovering.
Moore told the Los Angeles Police Commission on Tuesday that 26 of the new COVID-19 cases at the department are concentrated in the Central Area in downtown Los Angeles. Protective measures are being taken at the Central Area station, including restricting front desk access, in an effort to reduce the infection rate, Moore said.
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The LAPD on Monday began its mobile vaccination clinic deployment in an effort to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates within the department, which has lagged behind the general adult population in Los Angeles. Each station will have a clinic that runs for 20 hours per day, allowing night shift and day shift employees to get vaccinated. On its first day of deployment, which was in the San Fernando Valley, 19 LAPD employees got vaccinated, Moore said.
As part of the department's effort to get LAPD employees vaccinated, it internally distributed a video with testimonies from employees who have contracted and survived COVID-19, Moore said.
"One of the accounts is an individual who was vaccinated and came down with COVID and was still hospitalized and was in very serious condition," Moore said. "In his testimony, he's convinced that, as his doctors are, absent that vaccine, he would have been in much graver condition and could have lost his life because of underlying health conditions."
That employee was the only hospitalized LAPD member who was vaccinated, Moore said. The video also includes a story from a woman whose husband worked for the LAPD and died of COVID-19. He contracted it before the vaccines were available.
"As a consequence of the COVID virus, she lost him and her testimony also included that she was still hesitant to take the vaccine until her remaining children mentioned to her that she was their only parent ... and that pulled on her and convinced her that this was something that she needed to engage in despite her hesitations and her concerns for the safety of the vaccine," Moore said.
Moore said the LAPD community, like the general U.S. population, has been impacted by "misinformation and disinformation campaigns" regarding the vaccines.