A janitor who worked at a Sodo office park that houses several Seattle Police Department training and support units recently tested positive for COVID-19, potentially exposing multiple officers to the novel coronavirus, according to sources and police communications disclosed to The Seattle Times.
The Police Department hired a doctor to screen the potentially exposed officers early Wednesday, the communications show.
Two sources with the department said five officers have been self-quarantined as a result of possible exposure.
Seattle police spokesman Sgt. Sean Whitcomb said he couldn’t confirm the possible exposure and declined further comment. Mike Solan, president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild, also declined to comment.
The janitor, who was assigned to the Park 90/5 Office Park on Airport Way South, was sent home sick on March 12. Park 90/5, which includes several buildings, houses various department units, including training, SWAT, evidence, traffic and parking enforcement. The complex was shut down for a deep cleaning, and the department issued a special order to potentially exposed officers on Tuesday.
“Any police personnel who had contact with a female janitor at Park 90/5 between 3/3/2020 and 3/13/2020 are hereby ordered to report to Seattle Police Range at 0730 hours tomorrow morning for medical screening,” the order read.
The department “enlisted a medical provider” to screen officers or employees who may have had “prolonged contact” with the janitor, another department message sent this week said.
One officer, who asked not to be identified, said the department “sent out some questions to us last night regarding face-to-face contact with her.”
“She’s kind of like family around here,” the officer said. “Those of us that had face-to-face contact with her had to report to the COVID-19 evaluation place at our range today. The rest were ordered back to work.”
It wasn’t clear late Wednesday how many employees and buildings may have been exposed to the infected worker.
Seattle Times reporter Daniel Beekman contributed to this report.