Newton County Sheriff Billy Rowles said Wednesday that one of the officers within his department had tested positive for the coronavirus, requiring him to take steps to prevent the infection from spreading.

Rowles said in addition to sending the affected worker home for quarantine, he is also in the process of testing all of the other of the department.

According to Rowles, the department is continuing to answer calls and respond to the needs of the people of Newton County. However, due to the temporary reduction in staff, he is asking the people to only call if they have an emergency.

Rowles said that while all calls are important, for the time being he is asking that people only call with real emergency and try to hold from minor calls as possible.

Rowles said, ā€œ Iā€™m am asking all citizens to please bare with us as we try to make it through this time and at the same time serve the needs of the county.ā€