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Regional Police Academy Classes Suspended Due To COVID-19 Cases

A San Diego police car parked in downtown San Diego, Oct. 24, 2018.
Susan Murphy
A San Diego police car parked in downtown San Diego, Oct. 24, 2018.

Two police academy courses at a Miramar College- based law enforcement training institute were on hold Wednesday due to more than two dozen cases of COVID-19 among its students and staffers.

As of Tuesday, 25 of 215 recruits in the San Diego Regional Public Safety Training Institute and four of its 22 staff members had tested positive for the virus, according to a joint statement from the academy and San Diego Community College District.

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On the weekend of July 24-25, two recruits from the 127th Regional Academy and a staffer tested positive for COVID-19. Two additional staff members later developed coronavirus symptoms and were awaiting tests results.

As a precaution, administrators decided to suspend the academy course for two weeks. It had been scheduled to resume Monday, but was postponed another week after officials discovered that "many of those ... who had tested positive were still dealing with the (effects)," according to the statement.

Meanwhile, the 128th Regional Academy, which began July 26, was suspended after two recruits and a staff member tested positive for COVID-19, with another awaiting test results. It is tentatively slated to resume Tuesday.

"The health and safety of the recruits is a top priority, especially during this resurgence of the COVID-19 virus and its variants," according to the joint statement. "When personnel are onsite, we are continuing to conduct temperature checks, health screenings, masking inside all classrooms, emphasizing vaccinations and keeping the academy sections separate from each other as much as feasible. We have also brought in a specialized disinfection crew to clean the affected areas all in an effort to combat the spread of COVID- 19."

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The academy trains law enforcement recruits from various state, county and municipal agencies in the San Diego region, as well as from agencies in neighboring counties.