More than 40 Florida Highway Patrol employees are self-isolating because of exposure to the coronavirus, including three state troopers who have tested positive for COVID-19, FHP spokesman Aaron Keller confirmed on Thursday.
Some of the employees decided to self-isolate after coming into close contact with people who tested positive for the virus, while others had traveled to “virus hotspots” or were exposed to people who had traveled to those places.
Keller adds that the troopers who tested positive are part of Troop E in Miami, Troop L in Lake Worth and Troop I in Panama City.
“In each case, the Florida Highway Patrol immediately engaged with local health officials and followed self-isolation guidelines. The health and safety of the public and our employees remains our top priority, and the Florida Highway Patrol is following current CDC guidance for law enforcement,” Keller’s statement emphasizes.
Those guidelines explain that employees should wash their hands, maintain a distance of at least six feet from other people when possible, have trained emergency-medical service workers assess transportation to health-care facilities of anyone who may have the virus, and also to ensure that only trained employees with appropriate protective gear come into contact with people who may have the virus.
Additionally, federal guidelines recommend that officers clean and disinfect their uniforms.
The Florida Highway Patrol has more than 2,000 employees.
During the coronavirus outbreak, troopers have helped check motorists who are entering the state from Connecticut, Louisiana, New Jersey and New York, which are all states that have seen large numbers of cases.
In an executive order issued last week, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis mandated that all visitors from those hotspots isolate for 14 days upon entry to the state or for the duration of their visits, whichever time period is shorter.