Hospital Worker with Coronavirus Found Dead with Her Small Child by Her Side, Hospital Issues Statement


Diedre Wilkes was a mammogram technician at Piedmont Newnan Hospital, southwest of Atlanta. A week before her death, she was showing symptoms of the flu, and by March 19 she had died.

According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a friend became concerned for her when she didn’t answer phone calls for a few days, and requested police check on her.

When officers entered Wilkes’ home, they found 42-year-old Diedre Wilkes had already been dead for 12 to 16 hours. The Journal-Constitution also said the woman’s young child, 4 or 5 years old, was present. According to NBC News, the child was “by her body.”

Coweta County Coroner Richard Hawk said Wilkes had no known underlying conditions, and although she’d had flu-like symptoms the week before, she didn’t get tested for the coronavirus.

When she was tested after her death, though, they found that she’d had COVID-19. The coroner said it was unclear how or where Wilkes had contracted the virus.

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Spokesman John Manasso for Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta said the hospital was taking steps to inform anyone who might have come into contact with her.

“However, 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,” he said, according to The Newnan Times-Herald.

“Piedmont is providing these individuals with detailed information for self-monitoring and will offer COVID-19 testing to those who request it,” Manasso 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.”

The Promenade at Newnan Crossing, where Wilkes lived, also issued a statement.

“As indicated in our prior communications, given the current global health situation, we previously implemented measures to close the community common areas, amenities and management office and to enhance our cleaning protocols,” it said, according to The Times-Herald.

“The enhanced cleaning protocols, which also occurred today, include daily wipe downs of the mail center, mail and package center.”

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“We are committed to the well-being, health and safety of everyone associated with our property and will continue to update everyone as information becomes available.”

It was not stated whether the child had shown symptoms or been tested for COVID-19.

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