TAUNTON — Police Chief Edward Walsh and Fire Chief Timothy Bradshaw confirmed today that the City of Taunton has been notified by Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) officials of three confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the Taunton Police Department and one positive case within the Taunton Fire Department.
Taunton Health Department officials were notified by DPH of the positive test results and have been in contact with each of the individuals. The patients have been isolated and are being supported and monitored according to public health guidelines. Under State and Federal privacy laws no further information is available about the individuals.
Close contacts (defined as someone who has spent more than 15 minutes within six feet of a positive case) have been identified, contacted by health officials, and are adhering to DPH orders for quarantine.
The quarantined close contacts will be monitored on a daily basis by Taunton Health officials while they are in quarantine to limit the risk of spread.
It should be noted that out of an abundance of caution, all members of each department that came in close contact with the individuals began to self-quarantine prior to the notification of positive test results of the confirmed cases.
The Taunton Police and Fire Departments will continue to respond to all emergencies and are taking all proper precautions when coming in contact with residents and community members.
Chief Walsh and Chief Bradshaw stress that this remains a very fluid and rapidly evolving situation and both departments are working closely with Mayor Shaunna O’Connell’s Office and Taunton Health Department officials. The Taunton Board of Health, Taunton Police Department and Taunton Fire Department will follow CDC guidelines and remain in contact with the individual throughout their illness.
“Our number one priority during this time is serving the people of our community while staying safe and remaining healthy,” said Chief Walsh. “At this time, we have three confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our ranks. All other members of the department who have been deemed a close contact have been contacted by the DPH and are following the proper guidelines. We would like to remind the community that the department remains fully operational during this time and that it is safe to call us if you are in need of assistance.”
Both departments will continue to limit access to the stations to outside visitors for general, walk-in business until further notice.
In an effort to continue practicing social distancing, all citizens are asked to make all non-emergency reports and inquiries to both departments by telephone or email, rather than in person.
The Taunton Police Department can be reached at its business line at 508-824-7522 or online at its website https://tauntonpd.com/. The Taunton Fire Department can be reached at 508-821-1452 or at its website https://tauntonfd.com/.
As always, please call 911 for any emergency.
“We are taking all of the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the virus and will continue to closely monitor the situation as it continues to unfold,” Chief Bradshaw said. “We wish everyone a quick recovery and hope that they’re all back to full health soon.”
In addition to limiting public access to the lobby, the Taunton Police and Fire Departments have taken the following actions:
-Practicing social distancing while at work and at home
-Increasing the cleaning and sanitation of common touch points and surfaces
-Encouraging proper self-care and hygiene including frequently washing hands, ensuring bathrooms are stocked with hand washing materials and making cleaning products and sanitizers available
-Ensuring all personnel are fit-tested for masks
-Reviewing Contagious Diseases and Pandemic Planning and Response policies
-Reviewing the proper use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
-Modifying medical response protocol
-Ensuring the department has ample supplies of PPE for medical responses
-These temporary measures will be reviewed on a continuous basis. When changes are necessary, they will be communicated to the public.