AP NEWS

Law enforcement takes coronavirus precautions

March 25, 2020 GMT

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The coronavirus pandemic has law enforcement agencies and emergency responders in North Dakota taking steps to keep themselves and the people they serve safe.

Burleigh County Sheriff Kelly Leben says jail programs and in-person visitation have been cut and the usual face-to-face attorney visits are now conducted behind glass.

Staff members are to be screened if they have traveled to an area where the virus is active or if they might have come in direct contact with someone who is infected, the Bismarck Tribune reported.

The state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has suspended all contact visitation at its facilities.

And, the Mandan Police Department is pushing officers and staff to wipe down squad cars and work areas, limit the number of people that respond to a call and try to handle minor calls over the phone.

Mandan Officer Dylan McAlexander has been routinely using disinfectant.

“I do what I can,” McAlexander said. “I don’t want to be the cause” of further spreading the virus.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

The Bismarck Police Department has suspended department tours, citizen ride-alongs and presentations to large groups.