Sheriff's deputy awaiting COVID-19 test results


Last updated 5/31/2020 at 7:43pm

CLOVIS — A Curry County sheriff’s deputy last week was instructed to self-quarantine until results from a COVID-19 test could be obtained.

The deputy, who was not identified, notified county officials on Wednesday of “a possible exposure a household member had to an individual who had tested positive for COVID-19,” according to Melissa Gunn, the county’s personnel coordinator.

Gunn said the deputy was tested for the virus and is awaiting results, which are expected within the next week.

It was not immediately clear if the deputy’s possible exposure is connected to a Clovis police virus scare that also came to light on Wednesday.

A small flag ceremony was postponed because a “day shift officer family member” tested positive for COVID-19, according to Police Chief Doug Ford.

City Manager Justin Howalt said the officer was “immediately sent home and notified of the protocols which needed to be followed. This includes quarantine.”

Neither the county nor the city has had a confirmed COVID-19 case among it law officers, officials have said.

Howalt said the city offered testing to all city employees on Thursday, though it wasn’t clear how many participated or how many test results have been completed.

The city manager did confirm one individual’s test was negative, but he did not say if that test belonged to the day-shift officer whose family member tested positive.

“I will research on Monday,” Howalt wrote in a text message on Sunday.

Ford did not respond to questions about the city incident. His email about the flag ceremony was provided to The News by a recipient.

In the email, Ford told a dozen recipients the ceremony was delayed because it “has possibly placed part of our organization at exposure to this disease and we do not (want) to put anyone else at risk. At this time I am delaying the event, until we are sure our personnel are free of any infection.”

Curry County Sheriff Wesley Waller did not respond to questions about the deputy's possible exposure. County Manager Lance Pyle referred questions to Gunn.


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