HPD officer in critical condition after positive COVID-19 test

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A Houston police officer's wife is asking Houstonians to pray for her husband, who is hospitalized with COVID-19.

HPD Detective Ray Cervantes, 57, is in intensive care and on a ventilator, according to Chief Art Acevedo. He has been in intensive care for a week. Cervantes, with HPD for 27 years, most recently worked on the Homicide Cold Case Squad.

Thirty-one HPD officers have tested positive for coronavirus. Cervantes' wife gave Acevedo permission to release his name, on the same day people showed their gratitude for those working on the frontlines of the disease.

Houston City Hall, the George R. Brown Convention Center, the Montrose Bridges and the city's sports venues were bathed in blue Thursday night to show support for healthcare workers and first responders. It was part of a nationwide expression of thanks. NRG Stadium, BBVA Compass Stadium and Minute Maid Park were also lit up.

In an afternoon news conference, Acevedo said Cervantes' wife went public to ask for prayers.

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She asked Chief Acevedo to announce his name and ask Houstonians to lift them up in prayer.

"Thank you for all the prayers because they believe he went from really grave condition to critical condition and there have been some slight improvement," he said. "So they would ask the community to continue to pray for him and for the whole family because Liz is also positive (for COVID-19)."

ABC13 learned the only hospitalized Houston firefighter, Al Capistran, has improved slightly and was moved to a less intensive unit Thursday. As of Tuesday, HFD had 19 firefighters with confirmed cases.

As of Thursday, the Harris County Sheriff's Office has 38 employees who have been diagnosed with COVID -19.

Most work at the jail, but Deputy Raymond Scholwinski works at the District 2 patrol station on Will Clayton Parkway in northeast Harris County. Scholwinski, a well-known deputy is in critical condition and in ICU, according to the sheriff's office.

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