Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced Tuesday that Boston Police officer Jose Fontanez, a 29-year veteran of the force, died of COVID-19 at Boston Medical Center, the first BPD officer lost to the virus.
Fontanez was 53 years old, and had served a post in Jamaica Plain for the past 23 years.
Walsh called his death a "devastating blow to our city, to the Boston Police Department and the entire public safety family. We lost a hero today to this virus."
Commissioner William Gross said 67 officers have tested positive for COVID-19, but this is the department's first confirmed death. Police officers have to go about their jobs even in time of a pandemic, Gross said, but "we are not expendable. We are human too, and this virus can definitely affect us."
Wednesday is the seventh anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing, and Walsh said Boston will be holding an online interfaith prayer service to remember both the victims of that attack and all those lost to the coronavirus pandemic.