Mecklenburg detention officer dies after contracting Covid-19

The 51-year-old woman had no recent contact with jail inmates, the Sheriff's Office reported.

A Mecklenburg County detention officer has died from complications related to Covid-19, the Sheriff’s Office reported late Thursday.

The officer was identified as 51-year-old Coretta Downing, who last worked at the county’s detention center on July 26. Three days later she called in sick, telling her shift supervisor that she was going to seek medical attention. She was admitted to a hospital on July 30 and died Wednesday. 

In a statement emailed to local media, a spokeswoman in the Sheriff’s Office said Downing worked in the control room and had no contact with inmates.

Authorities conducted contact tracing and notified individuals who had been in close contact with Downing, the statement said.

As of August 13, state health officials had reported 22,803 cases of Covid-19 in Mecklenburg County, and 246 people had died in the county from related complications.

“MCSO is deeply saddened by the loss of Officer Downing; our hearts, prayers and condolences go out to her grieving family,” Sheriff Garry L. McFadden said in the statement. “This came as quite a surprise to our organization as we all are dealing with the grief of the passing of one of our own.”

Downing had worked for the Sheriff’s Office since April 2000.

Glenn Burkins
Glenn is founder and publisher of He's worked at the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Wall Street Journal and Charlotte Observer.

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