Coronavirus News: Dozens more NYPD, FDNY members are sick with COVID-19

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said Wednesday that 236 members of the NYPD have tested positive for coronavirus and 3,200 members of the force are sick, triple the normal sick rate.

"We are backfilling patrols where we need to," Shea said. "We are taking on a variety of assignments."

At the same time, police statistics show a 25% drop in serious crime, save for robberies which are up in the last week.

The one trouble spot for Shea is the number of reported rapes, which dropped by almost half. It's worrying because authorities have raised concerns about domestic violence at a time so many people are being kept indoors.

"I can't imagine that the crimes aren't happening," he said. "I'm sure that there's many crimes happening."

Officials say 911 call volume has increased dramatically. On Tuesday alone, there were 5,700 calls to 911 for medical incidents, a 60% increase over the normal call volume, according to the FDNY.

Many of the calls did not ultimately involve coronavirus symptoms, but it shows how nervous people are about any form of illness.

The FDNY is urging New Yorkers to only call 911 in a true emergency.

There are 84 FDNY members who have tested positive, double the number from a day earlier.

Shea said the NYPD is seeing "almost universal" compliance with social distancing policies.

"The majority of New Yorkers recognize we are in unprecedented times," he said. "They are responding accordingly," Shea said.

The city is planning to decide by Saturday whether to close playgrounds and parks.

On Thursday, two streets per borough will close to vehicular traffic to create more space for pedestrians and joggers.

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