St. Louis family grieves over loss of young woman to the coronavirus

Missouri

ST. LOUIS – St. Louis City marks its first death due to the coronavirus. Jazmond Dixon’s family identified her as the young lady who lost her life. She was a 31-year-old recent graduate of Harris-Stowe State and Lindenwood University and now an unexpected victim of Covid-19. Her cousin, Belafae Johnson, says she went to Urgent Care last Tuesday with flu-like symptoms.

The medical personnel instructed her to go straight to an area hospital where she was admitted. Wednesday or Thursday, doctors put Dixon on a ventilator. By Sunday, she died.

Jazmond’s death marks the first person to die as a result of the coronavirus in St. Louis City. It comes after rapid calls by regional leaders including Mayor Lyda Krewson to stay home for 30 days to prevent the spread.

Dixon had worked at the American Red Cross Blood Center on Lindell Boulevard. A statement from the Red Cross said Dixon did not come into contact with blood donors or any other member of the public.

You can read the entire statement from the American Red Cross below in its entirety:

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.

Medical personnel are still learning more about this deadly virus. There are some misconceptions that lead some to believe they cannot be affected. Johnson encourages everyone to look to his family’s grief as an indication that tragedy could touch your family too.

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