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Second Southern California sheriff’s deputy dies of COVID-19

California

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Another Riverside County sheriff’s deputy has died from the coronavirus, becoming the third member of law enforcement to die of COVID-19 in California.

The Sheriff’s Department announced Friday morning that Deputy David Werksman had died the day before. Deputy Terrell Young also died of the virus Thursday.

Sheriff Chad Bianco said the deputies did not work together and did not have close contact. Their cases are not related, he said.

In Santa Rosa, police Detective Marylou Armer died Tuesday, making her the first police officer or deputy to succumb to the virus in the state. She worked in the domestic violence and sexual assault team and was a 20-year veteran of the department.

Hundreds of law enforcement personnel nationwide have tested positive for the virus.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. But for others, especially older adults and people with health problems, it can cause severe symptoms like pneumonia.

In New York City, eight members of the police department have died of the disease, including a detective, several school safety officers and support staff. To curb the spread, the NYPD is having thousands of officers and other employees work from home, a move Commissioner Dermot Shea called “unprecedented.” Police headquarters is virtually empty. Foot traffic into police stations is next to nothing.

Young, the first member of the Riverside department to test positive for the virus, was most recently a corrections officer at the Cois Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta. He is believed to have contracted the virus from an inmate he had escorted to the hospital.

Werksman had worked in the sheriff’s administration in the public records unit. Bianco said Werksman may have contracted the virus at his mother’s funeral two weeks ago or while making arrangements for it.

The sheriff said 26 employees have contracted the virus, as well as 13 inmates. Most of the department’s cases are related to the jails, he said.

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