With the spread of the Covid-19 Delta variant fueling a summer of more infections and hospitalizations, health care workers and first responders find themselves again on the front lines of the pandemic.
The state of Florida has been struck particularly hard by the latest surge, with more than 17,000 people hospitalized with Covid-19, according to data Saturday from the US Department of Health & Human Services. And in the week beginning August 14, at least five police departments in South Florida reported the deaths of law enforcement officers from Covid-19.
Coral Springs Police Sergeant Patrick “Pat” Madison, a decorated 15-year veteran of the department, “succumbed to complications of COVID-19 on Friday, August 20,” CSPD Chief Clyde Parry said in a statement Friday. Madison is survived by his son and fiance.
Miami Beach Police Officer Edward Perez, a 25-year veteran of the MBPD, passed away Thursday “after a battle with COVID. He leaves behind a loving wife and daughter,” MBPD tweeted.
West Palm Beach Police Officer Robert Williams died Monday after he “contracted COVID-19 and experienced complications,” said WPBPD. He had been with the department since 2001 and is survived by his wife and sons, WPBPD said.
Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Lazaro R. Febles “died from complications due to COVID-19” on August 14, according to tweets from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. The 12-year FHP veteran was laid to rest Friday, the tweets said.
Fort Lauderdale Police Officer Jennifer Sepot also died on August 14 after contracting the virus and suffering complications, the department said. Sepot was with the department since 2017 and is survived by her husband and young child, according to the Ft. Lauderdale Police Foundation.
At least 103 law enforcement officers have lost their lives to Covid-19 in 2021, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, which counts Covid-19 as the leading cause of officer deaths this year.
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