UPDATE: 06/13/22 7:00 P.M.: The Duson Police Department has returned to back fully staffed after half of the personnel tested positive for COVID-19 in early June.

DUSON, La. (KLFY) –  The Duson Police Department has established protocols that determine when their officers infected with COVID can return to work.

According to Chief Kip Judice, the Duson Police Department, in consultation with Dr. Tina Stefanski of the LA Department of Public Health, has established the following guidelines for officers who have been infected with COVID in order for them to return to work.

Officers who have tested positive for COVID (including any variants) or whom have experienced the symptoms of said viruses are allowed to return to regular work status only after:

  • Five days of isolation/quarantine (Studies indicate the likelihood of transmitting the virus 5 days after the onset of symptoms or a positive test drops dramatically)
  • Upon return to work the officer must wear a well fitting mask at all times while on duty for a period of 10 days after the onset of symptoms or positive test (CDC guidance and studies verify that in extreme cases some minor chance for transmission of the disease may be present up to 10 days after the onset of symptoms or a positive test result)
  • Officers must self-evaluate their recovery and establish that they are physically capable of doing the required tasks of a police officer (Policing requires certain senses and the ability to focus, if the individual officers are experiencing symptoms that would distract the employee than return to work may be delayed)

Chief Judice has been in communication with the 4 officers who became infected between June 2 and June 9. All of the officers gave very good reports of progress in symptom relief. Chief Judice’s condition has improved each day and as of Saturday June 11, the symptoms were very minor. The Chief became sick on Sunday evening June 5 and tested positive for COVID on June 6. Judice self isolated at his home and broke the isolation on Saturday June 11. Judice reported that he had direct contact with family members on the days leading up to the positive test, but none of his family became sick.  Judice further revealed that he had been vaccinated and received the booster for the COVID virus prior to his illness.

This protocol is in line with the recommendations of the CDC and will be effective Monday, June 13.  The mutual aid agreement orders with local sheriffs and the state police will continue until all officers have made a successful return to work.

The Duson Police Station will reopen on Monday for administrative purposes. The offices were closed the week of June 6 through June 10 due to cleaning, sanitizing and lack of staff to run the administrative offices.

Chief Kip Judice will return to the Duson Police station on Monday June 13, 2022.