Thousands of New York Police Department employees are out sick with flu-like or COVID-19 symptoms as of Tuesday, just days ahead of New Year's Eve, according to a report.
Of the NYPD's 36,000 uniformed employees, the 6,000 out sick account for roughly 17% of the patrol force, the New York Post reported, citing police sources. Out of the officers out sick, roughly 3,000 were reported to be out sick with flu-like symptoms, while 1,300 were out sick after testing positive for COVID-19.
"Patrol is particularly hard hit," a police source told the outlet. "Everyone in uniform and everyone working the three patrol shifts to ensure good coverage."
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These numbers show a rise from last Tuesday when the NYPD had 2,712 uniformed members call out sick, accounting for 7.8% of the city's police force, and a 13% increase from the previous Monday when 2,394, or 6.9% of police, were out sick, according to CNN.
The Washington Examiner reached out to the NYPD for comment on the New York Post report and was told by a spokesperson that the force was unable to "confirm any numbers."
Typically, the NYPD has about 1,400 to 1500 police officers call out sick on any given day, which is 3%-4% of the force, according to the New York Post.
Due to the increase in police calling out sick this year, the NYPD sent out a memo informing the force that regular days off were "cancelled for all uniformed members of service" from New Year's Eve until New Year's Day.
The Washington Examiner also reached out to two police unions, the New York City Police Benevolent Association and the Police Benevolent Association of New York State, for comment.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last week that the city's New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square would be scaled down to 15,000 people allowed into viewing areas, with additional measures implemented to stop the spread of COVID-19.
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The rise in police officers calling out sick comes as the United States is experiencing a rise in COVID-19 cases as the omicron variant becomes the dominant strain.
More than 52 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the U.S., with 1,682,860 new cases being reported in the last seven days, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 816,000 deaths have been attributed to the virus.