Wood County deputies get protective masks

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PARKERSBURG, W.Va.-(WTAP) The Wood County Sheriff's office wants to make sure its deputies are safe, as the coronavirus spreads.

Tuesday, deputies tested several protective masks just delivered to the sheriff's office.

The concern-one Sheriff Steve Stephens voiced himself Monday-is that, even in routine stops, deputies don't know if the person they're in contact with has contracted the virus.

"There's an incubation period out there, so someone who may not have been showing symptoms could actually be a contaigant carrier," said 911 Center Director Rick Woodyard, who conducted the testing of the masks. "So they have to be very cautious and put police in a different stance now than what they normally have done."

Members of the department's SWAT team will get full-face masks, while half-face masks will be handed out to patrol officers.

The full-face masks also offer protection for incidents involving hazardous chemicals.