Georgia 5-year-old found next to healthcare worker mom's body 16 hours after she died from coronavirus at home
Dedra Wilkes, 42, was found dead at her home in Coweta County, Georgia and was in that state for at least 12 to 16 hours before police arrived
A 42-year-old healthcare worker, who tested positive for coronavirus, was found dead at her apartment in Georgia with her five-year-old son lying near her body. Authorities found the pair in the apartment while conducting a welfare check, reports state.
The woman, identified as Dedra Wilkes, was a mammogram technician at Piedmont Newnan Hospital. She was found at her home in Coweta County and was dead for at least 12 to 16 hours before police arrived.
The only other person in the apartment was her five-year-old son. A posthumous test performed on her confirmed she had the novel coronavirus, according to the Daily Mail.
A spokesperson for Piedmont Healthcare, John Manasso, in a statement, said: "This employee did not work in an area treating known or suspected COVID-19 patients. Our thoughts and prayers are with the employee's family during this difficult time."
Manasso added: "Because we were told that an initial COVID-19 test performed after her death was positive, and because we know people can expose others before they show evidence of the disease, as a cautionary measure, we have contacted the employees and patients who may have had contact with this employee in the days leading up to the colleague's last day at work."
Another healthcare worker in Georgia died from coronavirus last week. The worker, who was just identified as a 48-year-old woman, worked at Donalsonville Hospital, in the southwestern part of the state. She reportedly succumbed to the deadly virus at a hospital in Tallahassee, Florida. Shortly after the incident, another employee in the hospital also tested positive for the virus and has been quarantined. Reports state that till now, at least five patients at the hospital have been tested positive for Covid-19 and two have been quarantined.
Georgia, as of noon Tuesday, confirmed 1,026 cases of coronavirus, leading to at least 32 deaths. The cases of the virus reported in the state have risen by nearly 28 percent since Monday, reports state. Concerns are rising among healthcare workers in the state about keeping their workplace safe, however, some have said that if they received the right equipment, they can protect themselves.
A nurse at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta, Irma Westmoreland, while talking to Atlanta Journal-Constitution, said: "We know how to do it. We just have to have the right protective equipment."
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, on Monday, announced that the state will provide protective gear and emergency medical supplies for hospitals throughout the state. The governor also ordered the "medically fragile" to take shelter in place for at least two weeks, the category includes people susceptible to infection and those in long-term care facilities. Kemp also shut all public schools in the region till end of March and banned public gathering of over 10 people unless they are standing six feet apart.
"We are all part of the solution. If your friends, neighbors or local organizations are not complying, call them out," the governor said during a press conference.
The United States has witnessed over 700 deaths in the past few weeks with over 53,000 cases of viral infection confirmed.