Barnegat Police Officer under self-quarantine after responding to incident
A Barnegat Township Police Officer has been sent home for 14-days after responding to an incident where the other individual had just flown in from Denmark, which has more than 800 confirmed cases of Covid-19 coronavirus.
Barnegat Police Chief Keith Germain announced that one of his officers had responded to a call for service that required a police response and the officer interacted with a subject who had just flown in from Denmark and was directed by the CDC to be on a 14 day self-quarantine.
However, that person failed to advise the Barnegat Police Officer that they had just returned from Denmark and were supposed to be quarantined.
"Because Denmark has over 800 active cases of COVID-19, and out of an abundance of caution, the officer was immediately placed off-duty and will not return to duty for 14 days," Chief Germain said.
The officer's patrol car and common areas he occupied within the police department are being professionally sanitized.
"It is critically important that members of the public act responsibly in adhering to self-quarantines and being forthcoming with public safety professionals if they have been outside of the country in the last 14 days or directed to self-quarantine. Failing to do so is dangerous to our officers, healthcare workers, and the public at large," Chief Germain said.
This Barnegat Police Officer is the second police officer in Ocean County asked to go home under self-quarantine as a precautionary measure after potential exposure to the virus even though neither displayed symptoms.
A Manchester Police Officer along with EMT's who responded to a home this week of a 72-year old man who has since tested positive for the virus were all asked to be at home under self quarantine as a precautionary measure.
As more people are being tested for the coronavirus, first responders are among those most at risk being on the front lines responding to calls about people who may be very ill.
Ocean County Public Health Coordinator Dan Regenye told WOBM News that there's a way first responders can protect themselves with some general precautions when heading to a call about someone being ill.
"If they're responding to a call and the person is sick, try to get that individual to wear a mask," Regenye said. "The masks are really recommended for those who are sick as oppose to those who are well but the first responders in having that close contact in proximity should be stepping up and doing the hand washing even more."