WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW)- Out of 77 people on staff, the Wausau Police Department will be short 11 officers as they quarantine for the next two weeks.
"We were notified that we had an officer testing positive for COVID-19. Prior to receiving that test the officer had been at work, and so there were staff exposed and citizens exposed potentially to that positive case," said Wausau Police Chief Ben Bliven.
Though the department will be short staffed, they say they are ready to serve the community no matter what.
"11 officers is a lot of officers for us to not have at our disposal, and to not come into work. That is a concern, but we have enough staff to fill those shifts and respond to calls," Bliven said.
However, when responding to calls, each officer is fully equipped to protect themselves from the virus.
"The officer who is working today has a container of antiseptic wipes, they have their N95 masks, they are encouraged to keep those supplies with them so in their contacts through the public they can be safe. This is their office for 12 hours a day," said Patrol Captain Todd Baeten.
Chief Bliven said the patrol officer who tested positive was asymptomatic.
The Marathon County Health Department said this is a harsh reminder this virus can spread in silence.
"We want everyone to know COVID-19 can be asymptomatic if you know you had been exposed to someone with COVID you want to consider getting tested, "said Judy Burrows with the Marathon County Health Department.
Chief Bliven does not believe the officer contrated the virus during work.
The police department, along with the health department, is working to notify the citizens the officer came in contact with in recent days.
Those officers under quarantine are expected to be off duty for at least two weeks, and they assure the community they are working diligently to follow COVID-19 protocols from the health department.