A Los Angeles County deputy public defender died this week a few days after testing positive for COVID-19, it was reported Friday.
It marked the first coronavirus death in the ranks of the L.A. County public defender’s office, the Los Angeles Times reported, and it comes as courts across California chart a path to reopen services and ease restrictions.
Ricardo Garcia, the county’s top public defender, did not identify the deceased attorney but said the person worked in the West Covina branch office and died Wednesday, The Times reported.
“The loss of this deputy public defender is a tragedy, and our hearts reach out to family, friends, and the entire public defender’s office who lost a cherished colleague and friend,” Garcia said in a statement quoted by The Times.
The deputy public defender had been self-isolating at home since May 16 and tested positive for COVID-19 three days later, officials said.
“Two co-workers who worked with the individual were immediately notified and quarantined upon receipt of the positive test,” said Garcia, adding that the office where the person worked was closed and cleaned.
Eight other employees of the L.A. County public defender*s office have tested positive for COVID-19, an office spokeswoman told The Times.
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