COVID-19 outbreak sweeps Highway Patrol training class

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Saturday, December 19, 2020
COVID-19 outbreak sweeps Highway Patrol training class
Nearly 75 percent of a new class of state troopers tested positive for COVID-19, though only four showed symptoms.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- A COVID-19 outbreak has swept through a new class of state troopers.

As the class of 50 cadets graduated in a virtual ceremony on Friday, our newsgathering partners at the News & Observer reported that 37 tested positive, but only four had symptoms.

"All of the 50 cadets and staff on campus were tested once it was determined that a member of the group displayed symptoms consistent with COVID-19," Sgt. Christopher Knox told the News & Observer. "We have worked in conjunction with the local health department during this unfortunate event to ensure these members were quarantined in compliance with health guidelines. The COVID-19 positive cases did not affect the members training or graduation."

Knox confirmed the details to ABC11.

Two staff members also tested positive.

The cadets went through a first-of-its-kind Fast-Track Basic Highway Patrol School.

They spent nine consecutive weeks at the Raleigh training academy without visiting home as part of a schedule designed to limit outside exposure to COVID-19, according to a State Highway Patrol news release.

In mid-January, the cadets will report to their duty stations to begin a field training program.

"You are about to embark on an exciting, new journey in your life. New experiences, new opportunities and new knowledge await you," said Col. Glenn M. McNeill, Jr., Commander of the State Highway Patrol in a message to the cadets. "As you embrace these wonderful things, I hope that you will also discover what an honor it is to protect and serve the people of North Carolina."