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7 Rockport Police Department employees have tested positive for the coronavirus

Police Chief Greg Stevens said the July 4 weekend was when police department employees might've been exposed.

ROCKPORT, Texas — Rockport Police Chief Greg Stevens said he and the other five officers in his department who have tested positive for COVID-19 got the virus largely during the Fourth of July weekend.

"I know that at least a couple of the officers, they and their families, were exposed and have tested positive," Chief Stevens said.

Seven out of the 31 people who work at the PD ended up getting COVID. Chief Stevens said six total Rockport police officers, including himself, have tested positive for COVID and are recovering at home. A civilian employee at the police department is also recovering at home from the virus. 

The Chief pointed to the days leading up to the Fourth of July as when he and his officers began to be exposed. He believes it was the tourists who came to Rockport from across the state to celebrate the 4th.

"We don’t have the luxury of pulling people off the front lines they still had to go out on Fourth of July and work being in the crowds," Chief Stevens said. "It was unavoidable for them to come in contact with obviously some people who had the virus and they contracted it."

Chief Stevens expects to be back on the job soon. He said his symptoms were minor compared to a couple of the officers who are still struggling in their recovery at home.  

County officials waited until July 2 to announce that Rockport Beach was going to have restrictions. By that time, many tourists had already arrived and more were on the way.

"I know that I for sure was exposed on July 4 that’s when I picked the virus up I can just say with 90-percent accuracy and then I begin showing symptoms late on July 5," Chief Stevens said. "When the crowds started showing up it’s no surprise when you have big crowds like that it’s going to spread the virus around."

The Chief had one final piece of advice for everyone. He said don’t think you won’t catch the virus because you certainly can. He knows that all too well. 

For the latest updates on coronavirus in the Coastal Bend, click here.

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