What to Know
- NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea has tested positive for COVID-19 and is working remotely, according to a senior police official.
- Shea oversees the 54,000 member police department.
- Shea is feeling fine and working remotely, according to his spokesperson.
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a senior police official.
The commissioner apparently felt sick over the weekend and quarantined himself although he tested negative Monday. He took another test, which came back positive Thursday, according to the official.
Shea is feeling fine and is working remotely, according to his spokesperson. He oversees a 54,000 member police department.
In a memo to the NYPD, obtained by News 4 New York, Shea said in part: "As you’ve likely heard, I have tested positive for COVID-19 and am working remotely from home while the virus runs its course. I know many of you have been through this already as you courageously and heroically worked through this pandemic. I want to assure you that I’m feeling well and am in constant contact with our executive staff. I’m looking forward to returning to the office and, especially, to visiting with all of you out in the field as soon as possible. I also want to take this opportunity to urge each and every one of you to continue to take all necessary precautions to ensure that you and your families remain healthy and safe."
The news comes after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio fired back at Gov. Andrew Cuomo Thursday, a day after the governor quashed the mayor's announcement that 25,000 NYPD personnel were eligible to receive their first vaccine doses under revised state guidelines. Cuomo shut de Blasio's plan down barely an hour after he revealed it.
De Blasio had planned to dose up to 10,000 NYPD personnel with initial shots by Sunday, a lofty goal that earned him praise from detective and police unions. That's off the table for now, with Cuomo insisting NYPD were not eligible for the vaccine yet and doses had to be reserved for health workers and nursing homes.
The governor said those were the rules. De Blasio challenged that contention Thursday, saying, "We really think the rules couldn't be clearer."
Shea getting COVID raises renewed concerns of police staff and police unions at a time the governor is withholding vaccines from the police but is giving it to other first responders.
According to a senior official, 463 NYPD members have currently tested positive, with three members hospitalized. More than 1,000 are out with flu-like symptoms.
Six NYPD detectives, a police officer and 40 civilian employees have died of the virus. Former Transportation Chief William Morris died of COVID-19 in June. John Miller, the deputy commissioner for intelligence and counterterrorism, was hospitalized with the disease in March and has returned to work.