The Parsons Police Department still has five employees, three officers and two support staff, who remain off work because of COVID-19 infections.
Police Chief Robert Spinks said that six employees tested positive for the virus about a week ago, three officers and three support staff. One support staff member has since returned to work.
Police officers who are ill are spread across different shifts, Spinks said. He said administrators have made staff adjustments to maintain coverage on all patrol shifts.
“Our response to all incidents remains constant. The workload per employee rises,” Spinks said in an email correspondence.
He said remaining department staff members were tested for the virus and those tests were negative.
Spinks said because the rest of the staff tested negative for the virus, the Labette County Health Department placed the department on a modified quarantine, which is used for first responders.
“That means that for 14 days those of us with negative tests can come to work and do our jobs, but then we can only go directly to and from our residences to work. We are required to wear masks while working. We can’t stop for groceries, get gas, etc., when we are off duty.”
Spinks said staff will drop off this status on Sunday and Monday.
Employees who tested positive may return to work if they have had no fever for 72 hours and see a reduction in symptoms.
“I hope to see individuals filter back to work” in the coming days, Spinks said.