RICHMOND, Va. — Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney announced Thursday that a city employee has died as a result of COVID-19.
“We recently lost a member of the city of Richmond team who had contracted COVID-19,” said Stoney. “This was a dedicated longtime city employee who will be greatly missed not only by her family here in Richmond city government, but, also by her family, too.”
Stoney said the employee, a woman, passed away on Wednesday.
“Obviously my heart sinks when, anytime, we lose a life in the city, but, particularly when someone's on our team,” added Stoney. “And, so, my ask, my request is that you keep a member of our team in your thoughts and in your prayers."
Stoney said the woman’s name and what department she worked in would not be released, but added an investigation by the Richmond Health Department determined none of her coworkers were exposed to the virus.
In total, Stoney said 11 city employees have been infected by the virus. For an employee to return to work, Stoney said they must have been quarantined for at least 14 days and have tested negative for COVID-19 twice.
“This is our standard protocol to protect the public and also our fellow employees, which has been our number one priority in operation of your city government,” said Stoney. “It is mandatory for a 14 day quarantine as advised by health experts for anyone who may have come in contact with some with COVID-19, as well. And, we appreciate all employees who have been adhering to those guidelines.”
Thursday, Stoney also announced he has ordered city offices to remain closed to all but essential services until at least May 17.
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.Avoid non-essential travel.