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Hawaii sheriff tests positive for COVID-19

  • GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                The Special Operations Section building, located on Keawe Street, has been closed as a precautionary measure.

    GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARADVERTISER.COM

    The Special Operations Section building, located on Keawe Street, has been closed as a precautionary measure.

A deputy sheriff for the Hawaii Department of Public Safety has tested positive for COVID-19, representing the first department employee confirmed to have the virus.

DPS said via a news release that the deputy, who reportedly was not feeling well Monday night, was tested Tuesday for COVID-19 and reported the positive results this morning. The deputy, who works in the Sheriff Division Special Operations Section, did not work Tuesday.

DPS said that the Special Operations Section building, located on Keawe Street, has been closed as a precautionary measure. It will be closed today and Thursday, and the building will be cleaned and disinfected. Afterward, it could reopen pending a follow-up assessment.

“PSD is proactively taking all necessary precautions to mitigate any potential spread of the virus due to possible exposure,” said Nolan Espinda, Public Safety Director, in a statement. “We are working closely with the Department of Health and remain vigilant in our efforts to safeguard the health and welfare of staff and those in our custody.”

All employees from the section were instructed to go home, and none has reported any symptoms of the coronavirus, DPS said. The state Department of Health is contact tracing for the virus.

All arrest processing and bookings will go through the Sheriff Division Airport Section Booking Station.

DPS said there are no positive COVID-19 cases in its offender population.

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