More HPD officers will begin wearing masks and gloves out in the field, assistant chief says

A North Charleston police officer carries a protective mask around his gun belt while working traffic at Roper St. Francis' North Charleston office Monday, March 16, 2020, in North Charleston, S.C. Roper St. Francis Healthcare is providing drive-thru specimen collecting for patients suspected of having COVID-19 or flu who have already been screened by a virtual care provider. (AP Photo/Mic Smith)

HOUSTON – More officers with the Houston Police Department will begin wearing masks and gloves while on duty, Assistant Chief Larry Satterwhite said in a press conference Saturday.

"You're going to see some different things as officers arrive on scenes because we want to make sure that they're safe. So you're gonna start seeing more and more officers wearing a face mask," Satterwhite said. "It may be an odd thing to see, a police officer show up in the field with an N95 mask and gloves on but remember, they're protecting themselves but they're also there to protect you."

The news came as Mayor Sylvester Turner announced 163 additional positive cases of COVID-19 in Houston, representing the city’s biggest 1-day uptick in confirmed positive cases since the pandemic began.

Later Saturday, HPD Chief Art Acevedo reported three new officers tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the department’s total to 10.

He said one officer remains hospitalized while 220 employees total are currently in quarantine.

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