Two more members of the New York City Police Department have died of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said in a press briefing Saturday.
Detective Cedric Dixon, 48, died Saturday at the North Central Bronx Hospital, the New York Post reported. He was a 23-year veteran of the NYPD and assigned to the detective squad at the 32nd Precinct in Harlem, Shea said.
"He was known as the person that would do anything to help you," Shea said of Dixon. "He is going to be so sorely missed."
FDNY Uniformed Firefighters Association released a statement following the news of Dixon's death, extending its "deepest sympathies to the entire police community."
"New York City first responders, along with hospital workers and medical personnel, are the front lines in the battle against this virus," the statement said. "We will continue to stand side-by-side with New York City Police Officers in unity."
Dixon's was the third coronavirus-related death in the past 48 hours for the NYPD.
Giacomina Barr-Brown, an administrative assistant in the Bronx 49th Precinct Roll Call Office, had worked for the NYPD for seven years. She died at her home Thursday night, the NYPD said in a statement to BuzzFeed News.
Barr-Brown was 61, according to the New York Daily News.
"Her infectious smile and dedication will truly be missed," the 49th Precinct tweeted Friday, adding that she died from complications due to COVID-19.
NYPD custodian Dennis Dickson became the department's first employee to die of COVID-19 on Thursday. He was 62.
"We have lost three members of our family in a little over 48 hours," Shea said Saturday. "As I stand here, I cannot begin to describe what we are feeling."
Shea declined to comment on any prior health conditions. "This disease is particularly aggressive against people with vulnerabilities," he said. "I'll leave it at that."
An NYPD spokesperson declined to answer further questions when contacted by BuzzFeed News on Saturday.
As of Friday, 512 NYPD members had tested positive for COVID-19, the department said in a statement to BuzzFeed News, and 4,111 uniformed employees, more than 11% of the NYPD's uniformed workforce, have called out sick.
"We try to minimize risks, but it is impossible to eliminate risks," Shea said at the press briefing. "For first responders, you just don't often have the opportunity to isolate."
There were more than 112,468 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 1,841 related deaths in the United States as of Saturday. New York has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic, with the state recording 52,318 cases and 728 deaths so far.
The police commissioner pleaded with New Yorkers to do their part to help by following the city's order for nonessential businesses to close and residents to stay at home as much as possible.
"Please, help us help you, and stay inside," Shea said. "Stay inside unless absolutely necessary. We will get through this."