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Friday, May 24, 2024

NASA Langley employee who tested positive for the coronavirus has died

The Failure is Not an Option talk as part of the Virginia Air and Space Museum's Sigma Series Lecture is Tuesday, Oct. 1. (WYDaily/ File photo)
The NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton confirmed its first COVID 19 case. (WYDaily/ File photo)

A NASA Langley Research Center employee who tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID 19) Sunday, has died.

“Out of respect for the privacy of the family, the name of the deceased is being withheld,” April Phillips, spokeswoman for NASA Langley wrote in an email on Wednesday.

Phillips said the employee, a contractor who worked in administrative support mission essential functions in the security department, died Monday evening. The agency was notified of the employee’s death on Tuesday morning.

“I think everyone is sad,” she said, adding she herself is shocked. Phillips said NASA Langley employees are just processing what happened.

She added after NASA Langley found out about the positive case on Sunday, they recommended 18 people self-quarantine for 14 days per CDC guidelines “out of an abundance of caution.”

None of the 18 employees recommended to self-quarantine have tested positive for the coronavirus yet, she noted.

NASA Langley did release the age or gender of the employee who died.

“I actually don’t have the info either,” Phillips said, when asked for the information.

Most of NASA Langley’s employees have been teleworking since March 17 except of essential personnel, according to an email from Joe Atkinson, spokesman for NASA Langley, on Monday.

Phillips said Wednesday there are now three positive cases at NASA Langley.

“The first case was a bit different,” she wrote in an email. “The person had been on extended vacation away from the center during the onset of symptoms and never returned to the center until after quarantine. This person completed quarantine and has fully recovered.”

The second case was the employee who died Monday evening and the third case is one of the 18 employees who went into self-quarantine following the second employee’s positive diagnosis.

RELATED STORY: NASA Langley reports its first case of the coronavirus

As of Wednesday, James City County has 122 positive cases of the coronavirus, Newport News has 60, Hampton has 53, York County has 25, Williamsburg has 16 and Poquoson has 4, according to the Virginia Department of Health’s website.

There are 3,645 positive cases and 75 deaths statewide. At least eight people from the Peninsula Health District and one person from the Hampton Heath District have died from the coronavirus.

The Peninsula Health District covers Newport News, Poquoson, Williamsburg, James City County and York County. The Hampton Health District covers Hampton.


Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She covers everything on the Peninsula from local government and law enforcement agencies to family-run businesses and weather updates. Before WYDaily, she covered Hampton and Newport News for WYDaily’s sister publication, HNNDaily before both publications merged in December 2018. Julia was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Long Island, New York in 2001. A true New Yorker, she loves pizza, bagels and good Chinese food. Send comments, tips and other tidbits to You can follow her on Twitter at @jmarsigliano

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