More than 20 percent of NYPD out sick as COVID infections soar
More than one in five members of the NYPD were out sick Thursday as COVID-19 infections continued to spread like wildfire across the city.
The 7,270 NYPD sick calls were the most on any day in 2021, and the largest amount since April of last year, law enforcement sources said. Thursday’s staggering volume of sick calls marked a 9 percent increase from Wednesday when 6,680 cops stayed home.
Nearly 2,600 members of the 36,000-member uniformed force had tested positive for the virus in December, according to sources.
Typically, about 3 to 4 percent of NYPD members — or up to 1,500 cops — call in sick on any given day. Those rates had increased during the coronavirus pandemic and soared last April when New York City was the national epicenter of the pandemic’s first wave.
Department brass were requiring cops who had regularly scheduled days off to work over the New Year’s holiday weekend according to an internal NYPD message sent Tuesday.
“RDO’s are cancelled for all uniformed members of service” from 12:01 a.m. Friday until 11:59 p.m. Saturday, an internal memo read.
The 7-day average of cases in the city was more than 25,000 Thursday, and confirmed cases remained on the uptick as the highly transmissible Omicron variant continued to spread rapidly, according to city health data.
New York recorded 97 COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday, the most the state had seen in a 24 hour period since February, officials said.
Members of New York’s Finest were required to get vaccinated to avoid a forced unpaid leave this fall. More than five dozen members of the department have died from COVID-19.