Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams tests positive for COVID-19

Dec 18, 2020, 2:13 PM | Updated: 2:33 pm
(AP File Photo/Ross D. Franklin)...
(AP File Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
(AP File Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams has tested positive for COVID-19, the department announced Friday.

Williams has minor symptoms and is working from home while she quarantines, the department said in a press release.

The department’s No. 2, Executive Assistant Chief Michael Kurtenbach, also recently tested positive for coronavirus, according to the release. He is expected to return from quarantine next week.

Assistant Chief Patrick Connolly is serving as acting police chief while Kurtenbach and Williams are sidelined.

Williams has been chief of police in Phoenix since October 2016. Kurtenbach has been with the department for three decades and was promoted to his current position the month after Williams took over.

Williams’ diagnosis comes the same week that distribution began in Arizona for the first COVID-19 vaccine. Some first responders are on the priority list for receiving the shots.

Multiple COVID-19 metrics in Arizona are at or approaching the highest levels of the pandemic.

Arizona health officials on Friday reported 7,635 new coronavirus cases and 142 additional deaths, while the state’s hospitals continued to fill up.

It was the third consecutive day with at least 100 deaths reported. Until Thursday, there’d never been back-to-back days in triple digits.

The state’s documented totals increased to 442,671 COVID-19 infections and 7,819 fatalities, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

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