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Somber Lightfoot announces first death of city worker from coronavirus

The mayor refused to identify the victim or the city department. But she said the workplace has undergone a “deep cleaning” and co-workers have been notified.

Chicago City Hall
The first death of a city employee was announced Wednesday by Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
Rich Hein/Sun-Times

A somber Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Wednesday that the first city employee has died from the coronavirus.

“This is a sad day for all of us in city government. It’s with a heavy heart that I’m here to announce that Chicago has lost one of our own city employees to COVID-19,” the mayor said.

“While I can’t provide and will not any personal details, I can say that the employee was longstanding, beloved by family and co-workers. I personally reached out to offer sincere condolences and support. Our hearts go out to everyone who has been a part of this individual’s life.”

Lightfoot refused to identify the employee or the department where the victim worked. She asked reporters to refrain from publishing any personal details they might “receive or learn” until “all family members have been “contacted and notified of the sad circumstance.”

“This sobering moment should remind us that the numbers that we report every day are not mere statistics. They are people whose lives have been forever changed,” she said.

“This disease is deadly. It does not discriminate and no one is immune. That’s why everyone needs to continue to stay home and save lives. And we need to keep staying inside as things start to warm up in the coming weeks. Each of our individual actions has a direct impact on everyone else. And it’s truly a matter of life and death.”

Under questioning, Lightfoot said she didn’t know the victim personally and had no personal contact with that individual. But, other city employees did. That’s why the workplace had undergone a “deep cleaning” and all of the victims’ co-workers have been notified about the death.