The Philadelphia Police Department now has new protocols to improve safety for its officers. The city's officers have been directed to wear a mask or cloth covering to protect themselves, their coworkers and the public in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw announced Wednesday morning each of the department’s 6,500 officers were issued a cloth mask that they’re now required to wear. They were also given a bag to store their mask in, CBS reports.

In an internal memo, Outlaw explained the new policy to officers, writing in part, "The purpose of providing these masks is to help prevent spreading the COVID-19 virus among our coworkers. Many who have the virus have no signs or symptoms."

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