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MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – A 20-year veteran with the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office passed away on Wednesday due to complications from COVID-19.

MCSO said Detention Officer Coretta Downing, 51, died on Wednesday, August 12. She had been with the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office since April 19, 2000, and had worked at the Mecklenburg County Detention Center as a detention officer for the duration of her career.

“MCSO is deeply saddened by the loss of Officer Downing; our hearts, prayers, and condolences go out to her grieving family. 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,” Sheriff Garry McFadden said.

Officer Downing last worked at the facility on July 26, 2020, and notified her shift supervisor that she wasn’t feeling well on July 29 when she called to inform them that she would not be coming to work and was going to seek medical attention.

Officer Downing was hospitalized on July 30 and MCSO was notified on Thursday that she tested positive for COVID-19.

The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office said they conducted contact tracing and notified anyone who was determined to be in close contact with Officer Downing.

No residents housed in the Mecklenburg County Detention Center where at risk of exposure since Downing had been assigned to the control room since April 2020, MCSO said.