Aug 30, 2021 - COVID

Police officers around Tampa Bay are dying of COVID

Photo: St. Petersburg Police Department/Facebook

Several of the 29 law enforcement officers in Florida that have died of COVID-19 were from around Tampa Bay, Fox 13 reports.

The fallen: St. Pete police officer Michael Weiskopf, 52, died of COVID complications last week. He was unvaccinated, despite his wife's urging.

  • Manatee Corrections Department worker Douglas Clark, 67, died Thursday. His vaccination status was not disclosed.
  • Polk County sheriff’s deputy Christopher Broadhead, 32, died Monday after several weeks in the hospital.

What they're saying: Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd did not disclose Broadhead's vaccination status. but noted to Fox 13 that the majority of those hospitalized with COVID are unvaccinated:

"Listen to the doctors, don't listen to the politicians; get your vaccine. ... If you didn’t have motivation before to get the vaccination, I hope that Christopher’s untimely death will give you the motivation."

By the numbers: Fox 13's reporting also shows how COVID cases are stretching emergency services thin around the region.

  • About 50 Polk County Sheriff's office employees have tested positive for COVID, Judd said — with five currently hospitalized and one on a ventilator.
  • Nearly 100 Sarasota County Sheriff's employees were out with COVID, deputies told the outlet last week.
  • 19 St. Petersburg police staff members were out sick as of Saturday, but the department said no one was hospitalized.
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