30 St. Louis Sheriff's Deputies Quarantined After Deputy Tests Positive


St. Louis Sheriff Vernon Betts says a deputy has tested positive for COVID-19. - CITY OF ST. LOUIS
  • St. Louis Sheriff Vernon Betts says a deputy has tested positive for COVID-19.

A St. Louis Sheriff's deputy has tested positive for COVID-19, and now all 30 members of the infected person's unit have been placed under quarantine.

“I am deeply concerned about this deputy, their family and the rest of my staff and their families," St. Louis Sheriff Veron Betts says in a statement. "The unit and other staff members who may have come into contact are all under order to self-quarantine for the next two weeks."

The deputy was part of the Outside Services Unit, which serves summonses and ex parte orders of protection, but those duties have been limited under new coronavirus-related restrictions. Since March 20, the unit has only been serving the ex parte orders of protection.

According to a news release from the sheriff's office, the unnamed deputy did not work in the courthouse and there was only "minimal exposure to the buildings." Any areas of the courthouse that might have been exposed are being sanitized, Betts says. The sheriff added that people should continue to keep their space from others and wash their hands, but the courthouses are safe.

Betts says they are following the advice of the city's health department. The sheriff plans to shift deputies from other units to continue the work of their quarantined colleagues.

“The Sheriff’s Office is on the front lines of this pandemic," Betts says. "We have deputies out in the community serving court orders, working in area hospitals, handling prisoners and guarding the courthouses risking exposure every day. Thanks to the professionalism of my deputies, we are prepared to face this crisis.”

The St. Louis police department's traffic division also had to self-quarantine last week after at least one of its supervisors tested positive for COVID-19.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at doyle.murphy@riverfronttimes.com or follow on Twitter at @DoyleMurphy.
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