Kalamazoo public safety chief tests positive for COVID

Vernon Coakley Junior announced his positive COVID test on Thursday.

The chief of Kalamazoo’s Department of Public Safety (KDPS) announced Thursday that he has tested positive for COVID-19. Vernon Coakley Junior has been chief of public safety since Karianne Thomas retired at the end of September.

“My COVID-19 diagnosis is an important reminder for our community to remain vigilant and continue taking the proper precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19,” Coakley said in a statement. “I will be self-isolating until I am cleared by medical professionals and will follow their guidance.”

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As of Thursday, Kalamazoo County has had 9,382 confirmed COVID-19 infections with cases rising dramatically in the past three months.

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