Tests for COVID-19 on eight officers of the Rutland City Police Department who were exposed to the disease earlier this month indicate none of the officers have the virus, according to Chief Brian Kilcullen.
All of the officers tested negative for COVID in their first round of testing and seven of them tested negative in a second round. Kilcullen said the eighth officer’s test results were delayed because the laboratory found it had an insufficient sample for testing but Kilcullen said that issue had been resolved.
The results for that one outstanding test should be available by the end of the week.
The need for testing was the result of a June 17 arrest made by RCPD members. Police responded to a report of a possible stolen car but arrested a woman involved because she had an outstanding warrant in Pennsylvania.
The woman, who police said was asymptomatic and didn’t say she was sick, was taken to the Springfield jail where a routine test done on incoming inmates found she had COVID-19.
Kilcullen said his officer had not encountered a similar situation in the last few months since patients with COVID-19 were identified in Vermont.
However, he said it was a learning experience which will help avoid similar situations in the future, Kilcullen added.
For example, Kilcullen said the incident was a reminder of wearing gloves when police are handling someone else’s property.
Another lesson learned is keeping the number of officers in direct contact with a suspect as low as possible.
All of the officers involved in the incident are back at work, except for the one awaiting the results of the second test.
Last week, Rachel Feldman, spokeswoman for the Vermont Department of Corrections, said the woman was being handled by the corrections’ department protocol for inmates who test positive for COVID, which keeps them from coming into contact with other inmates.