FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – At a press conference Friday morning, Gregory Tony said his Broward Sheriff’s Office has 20 positive cases of COVID-19.
A spokesperson later confirmed that number to now stand at 21.
Officials, however, are refusing to give a breakdown of which departments those employees work in, saying the data is changing rapidly.
The president of the BSO deputies’ association says at least seven of the confirmed cases involve workers at the county’s three 911 call centers — something he believes employees deserve to know.
“It’s very concerning because it gives misleading and misrepresented information out to the troops,” said Jeff Bell, president of the Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies Association. “If you’re failing to let the deputies know where these infected employees work ... we’re not asking for confidential information, just let us know where they’re working so we can use extra precautions when we’re going into that specific district office, or the jail, or the communications center.”
Bell said deputies have also been given conflicting information as to whether they’re required to wear masks.
Tony had said earlier Friday that he expects the number of coronavirus cases across BSO to rise.
“Look, this is something that we know is a real threat to us,” he said. “We anticipate that, regardless of how much more [personal protective] equipment that we put in … that we’re probably going to have increased numbers.”
Tony said that about 200 BSO employees went into self-isolation because they feared they might have been exposed to the virus. About 150 are already returning to work, he said.
Sky 10 flew over BSO’s central dispatch center in Sunrise earlier Friday, where workers appeared to be bringing more supplies inside.
Every worker is also having their temperature checked before entering the building — something BSO is now doing across all of its departments.