A New York Police Department traffic enforcement agent died as a result of COVID-19, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said Sunday, bringing the number of virus-related deaths on the force to 20.
Agent William Hayes, an Army veteran, had been with the department for nearly 31 years, Shea said in a tweet.
“Our prayers are with his loved ones & colleagues today and every day,” Shea wrote.
With profound sadness, I announce the passing of Traffic Enforcement Agent William Hayes as a result of #COVID-19. William was a U.S. Army veteran & member of our NYPD family for nearly 31 years.
— Commissioner Shea (@NYPDShea) April 12, 2020
The department, along with the city, has been hit hard by the CCP virus. On Saturday, 6,743 uniformed members, or more than 18 percent of the workforce, were out sick, the NYPD said in its daily report. Some 2,318 uniformed members and 471 civilian members had tested positive for the coronavirus, the report said.
Of the more than 547,000 COVID-19 cases nationwide as of Sunday, New York state has 189,020 and 9,385 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins University. New York City had more than 103,000 of those cases and 6,898 deaths as of Sunday.
The number of deaths has been “flattening” in the state, but “at a terribly high rate,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday. Some 758 people died in a 24-hour period, Cuomo said in his latest briefing.
Shea said Friday that for the first time in 27 days, more people were coming back to work than people going out sick on an individual day.
“There is light at the end of that tunnel,” Shea said during a conversation with NYPD members broadcast on Twitter.
“As good as it is to see members coming back, we still have a heck of a lot people in the hospital,” Shea said.
By Theresa Waldrop