Police officers being tested as precautionary measure

OXFORD — There are now a half-dozen confirmed cases of COVID-19 in this town, as well as a police officer who resides in another community.

Officers working the same shift as the affected officer are being tested as a precaution, while the police station and cruisers are being cleaned regularly. Town Administrator Jennifer Callahan announced the updated coronavirus cases in a press release on Monday evening.

The police officer, whose name was not released, is a resident of another town and is being monitored by health officials there. Callahan said the officer “had been out of work a few days prior to being tested late last week and was not feeling well.”

In a statement, Oxford Police Chief Anthony Saad suggested the officer is expected to recover and return to work at some point.

“As of today, the Officer is currently at home recovering,” Saad stated. “I have been informed the Officer’s symptoms are improving and the individual is looking forward to returning to work as soon as medical clearance is granted.”

While the officer recovers at home and colleagues are tested, Callahan said a company has been hired to “completely disinfect Police Headquarters and all cruisers on a regular basis,” while police officers have been “instructed on how to properly disinfect their own work stations and cruisers prior to and at the end of their shifts.”

Additional precautions are being taken at the police station, including modifications to how officers “interact as they complete their job, including prisoner processing and interviews,” Callahan explained.

Precautions urged throughout community

With six residents having tested positive for COVID-19 thus far, local officials have again stressed the importance of adhering to precautions and guidelines meant to slow the spread of the virus.

“We strongly appreciate the support that our citizens and businesses have shown us during this unprecedented time,” said Saad. “We wish all good health and ask people to continue to help in fighting this pandemic by adopting the public health measures being reinforced daily!”

Town officials have created a dedicated email address — covid19questions@town.oxford.ma.us — to respond to local inquiries regarding COVID-19. That email address may also be used to help alert town officials of any senior experiencing food insecurity during the coronavirus pandemic.

“The Town is actively working on a plan to ensure this population has the nutritional resources,” Callahan’s press release states.

To help those in need, the Oxford Ecumenical Food Shelf is providing “drive by” service. For more information, or to volunteer, visit www.oxfordfoodshelf.org.

Municipal buildings, playgrounds, enclosed parks, and athletic courts have been closed to the public until further notice, though locals may visit the Town website to obtain email and telephone contact information for departments and officials.

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