Covid: South Yorkshire Police hit by outbreaks – BBC News


South Yorkshire Police is facing staff shortages due to rising Covid cases, said the force's top officer.
Chief Constable Lauren Poultney said 8% of staff were off sick with Covid outbreaks reported in the control room and a firearms support group. 
She told the police and crime commissioner's public accountability board meeting that 270 staff have had a positive PCR test.
A further 184 are awaiting a PCR after a positive lateral flow test.
According to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Chief Constable Poultney said the absences had caused "significant pressures in key teams" but added none had impacted on their "ability to carry out business as usual".
She added: "We are asking staff at times to work additional hours, we're keeping people on or bringing them in early to help cover for some of the abstractions."
In the seven days to January 6, Barnsley had the 10th highest infection rate in the country with 2,670 per 100,000 people catching the virus.
Rotherham's rate was 2,428, Doncaster's 2,336 with Sheffield recording 1,937 per 100,000 people.
The England average was 1,769 cases.
Hospitals are in South Yorkshire also experiencing "very high staff absence levels", with operating theatres closing and staff being asked to consider relinquishing annual leave.
At Rotherham Hospital, 559 staff are currently off sick, 310 of who have Covid or are isolating.
Ben Anderson, Rotherham's director of public health, said he expected rates to peak in the next seven to 10 days.
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