11 employees at Sunnyside PD test positive for COVID-19


SUNNYSIDE, Wash. — At least 11 employees at the Sunnyside Police Department have tested positive for COVID-19, the Yakima Health District said during a press conference Wednesday.

Last week, the health district announced that a 48-year-old inmate at the Sunnyside Jail tested positive and was set to be released to the Sunnyside area as a result. Since then, health officials have tested number of close contacts, including inmates and jail staff.

So far, no other inmates have tested positive. There are test results pending.

Comm. Scott Bailey said he would not be releasing the positions of the Sunnyside Police Department employees who’ve tested positive, but said there are around 50 employees serving various positions within the department.

Bailey said the department has met with the health district to discuss safety precautions and were told they have been implementing the correct procedures. He said the jail and office space at the police department have been fully sanitized since the local outbreak.

“The issue at hand is, unfortunately, part of our job is having to engage with people and from time to time make arrests, which puts us in close proximity with people,” Bailey said.

He said the police department implemented safety precautions when the pandemic reached Washington state back in March.