Puerto Rico shutters 911 call centres amid coronavirus cases
Lugo said officials should relay 911 calls through to another number, rather than forcing people to call a long number that they would have to read or hear about on the news.
“Response times will definitely be affected,” he said.
Kiara Hernandez, a spokeswoman for the Public Safety Department, said she could not immediately comment on why officials were unable to automatically route emergency calls to another number.
“It’s an option that’s being evaluated,” she said.
She also said she didn’t know why officials decided to close both 911 centres before ensuring that such alternatives were in place.
It is the first time Puerto Rico has shut down its primary and secondary 911 call centres. Janer said the buildings will be thoroughly cleaned and that he will soon announce when operations at the 911 call centres will resume.
It was unclear how many employees tested positive.
Puerto Rico has reported more than 29,700 confirmed cases of coronavirus infections. It has had more than 770 deaths from COVID-19, the disease that can be caused by the virus.