COVID-19 claims fifth city of Santa Fe employee

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Jan. 21—A street supervisor with the city of Santa Fe's Public Works Department died this week of COVID-19 complications, according to City Manager John Blair.

Gerald Ramone, 53, had worked for the city since 1999.

"Everyone at the city is deeply saddened by the loss of our team member Gerald Ramone," Blair said. He added the city learned of Ramone's death Tuesday but could not confirm the specific date he died.

Blair said on Ramone's last day of work, Dec. 15, Ramone started to feel ill and reported it to his supervisor before testing positive. Blair said the Office of Safety and Health Administration determined the positive test was not work-related and that Ramone was not regularly interacting with the public.

Blair could not confirm whether Ramone was vaccinated. He said while Ramone was getting tested weekly, per the city's vaccination policy, he had opted not to reveal his vaccination status to the city.

Ramone is the fourth city employee to die after contracting COVID-19 in 35 days and the fifth overall.

Three workers in the city's Transit Division died in December — a supervisor and two city bus drivers. Another city employee who worked in the city's Utilities Billing Division also died due to COVID-19, but Blair could not provide additional details.

Blair said Mayor Alan Webber has contacted Ramone's family to offer condolences. He added the city has since emailed employees to notify them of Ramone's death.