ST. LOUIS, Mo. – An employee at the St. Louis Red Cross has died due to COVID-19 and a second employee is receiving treatment for the virus, according to a company email obtained by Fox 2. A third employee has been presumed positive but has not yet been tested.
The three employees all worked at the American Red Cross on Lindell Boulevard. All staffers were notified Saturday when the first employee tested positive for the coronavirus. Only essential staff have been at the building since March 23.
A statement from the American Red Cross said the employee in question did not come into contact with blood donors or any other member of the public.
The employee has since been identified as Jazmond Dixon. She was 31.
The Red Cross has implemented an enhanced cleaning protocol for the entire Lindell building. The donor center was closed Tuesday for a deep and thorough cleaning using CDC-recommended chemicals.
The Red Cross said there’s been no exposure risk to donors who have visited the center.
Both the employee who died and the other confirmed positive case worked on the same floor but in different areas. The person who passed away had close contact with another employee. That individual is in self-quarantine for 14 days and has not shown any symptoms.
You can read the statement from the American Red Cross in its entirety below:
“The American Red Cross recently learned that a Biomedical Services employee who worked in a non-public facing function at our Lindell Avenue building in St. Louis has passed away due to COVID-19. Our hearts and greatest sympathies go out to the family and friends of this employee during this difficult time.
We know this is an uncertain and trying time for many in St. Louis and in communities across the country. The Red Cross remains committed to supporting the community and those we serve as part of our lifesaving mission. We do want to note that the individual did not come into contact with donors or other members of the public as part of their daily job duties.
In the interest of remaining vigilant, the Red Cross implemented enhanced cleaning of the entire Lindell building last week which includes the regularly wiping down of common surfaces, such as doors, handrails, elevator buttons and countertops. This past weekend, following notification of an ill employee, we also completed an additional enhanced cleaning and disinfecting of the building, using CDC recommended chemicals. Out of an abundance of caution, we have closed the Donor Center today and are conducting deep cleaning of the entire area. We take the safety of our employees, volunteers and donors seriously.
There is no known exposure risk to donors who have visited this center. We want to emphasize that donating blood is a safe process and that Red Cross staff already adhere to the highest standards of safety and infection control.
Earlier this month, we also added additional safety protocols which include asking all of those at our blood donation center – both staff and donors – to use hand sanitizer before entering a drive, and throughout the drive as needed. In addition, we implemented standard staff health assessments prior to all blood drives to ensure staff are healthy the day of the drive. The Red Cross had also begun taking temperature checks of presenting donors before they enter the blood drive or donation center. These mitigation measures help ensure staff and donor safety in reducing contact with those who may potentially have this, or any, respiratory infection.
The need for blood is constant and will continue throughout this outbreak. Volunteer donors are the only source of blood for those in need.”