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FOP wants officers to get workers' comp during COVID-19 pandemic

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Posted at 7:15 AM, Apr 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-01 08:24:51-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The National Fraternal Order of Police wants more to be done to help police officers during the pandemic.

The FOP is asking governors to change rules to assume if an officer gets the virus it happened at work. This would allow them to get workers' compensation. .

It’s important to note that all police officers are essential workers and are not getting days off. In addition, they are in contact with the general public during their shifts.

According to a letter written to all state governors, the National Fraternal Order of Police president says police are at higher risk of contracting the coronavirus due to the day-to-day tasks of the job.

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They go on to say nationwide, very few officers have been issued adequate (if any) personal protective equipment, also known as PPEs.

Last week, one metro officer working with the Midtown Hills precinct tested positive for COVID-19. Right now, Metro Nashville police has implemented safety protocols officers must take, like having suspects wear masks if they show symptoms.

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What is COVID-19 (a.k.a. the new coronavirus?)

According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. Examples include the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. COVID-19 stands for "Coronavirus disease 2019," which is when this strain of the coronavirus was discovered.

What are the symptoms?

The CDC says patients confirmed to have the 2019-nCoV reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

At this time, the CDC believes symptoms could appear as soon as two days after exposure, or as long as 14 days.

Prevention

The CDC is recommending "common sense" measures such as:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.