A second Minneapolis police employee tested positive for the novel coronavirus and has been sent home under self-quarantine, a department spokesman confirmed on Tuesday.

But department officials wouldn't comment on whether any of the people who worked alongside the sick employee had shown any symptoms themselves or if they were ordered to self-isolate.

"We're not discussing quarantines," department spokesman John Elder said.

It was not immediately known how long the employee who tested positive continued to work before exhibiting symptoms, or whether he or she went on calls or otherwise interacted with the public. Police officials have contended that releasing any information about employees who may have been exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 would violate health privacy laws.

Officers had previously been assigned protective equipment such as masks, gloves and hand sanitizer, but hadn't been required to wear them on all calls.

Elder said the department has taken other steps to keep officers and the general public safe.

"Roll calls are either being done by text message or they're being done outside when they can spread (out) plenty," he said.

News of the case came just as state officials announced their latest tallies of confirmed COVID-19 cases deaths, which sit at 7,851 and 455, respectively.

So far, Minneapolis hasn't seen the kind of outbreaks that have overwhelmed other big-city departments, like Los Angeles and Detroit, but there is growing concern that confirmed cases could jump as screening for the disease increases.

The department recorded its first COVID-19 case last month, when an unnamed officer in the 5th Precinct tested positive.

After the diagnosis, Police Chief Medaria Arradondo issued a new policy requiring all of nearly 900 officers to wear face masks and other protective equipment when responding to 911 calls.

The department also announced it would start screening officers and some visitors to its police stations by taking their temperatures and asking about possible symptoms.