This story was updated at 8:28 p.m. EDT.
An employee in EPA’s Region 3 office passed away after contracting the novel coronavirus, according to an internal email obtained by E&E News.
"It is with deep regret that I inform you" someone who works on solid waste issues has died, EPA Region 3 Administrator Cosmo Servidio wrote this morning. The employee, whose name has been withheld for privacy reasons, "succumbed to the coronavirus yesterday."
The Philadelphia-based employee is the first EPA staffer reported to have died from the coronavirus.
In a statement provided to E&E News after this story was published, an EPA spokesperson reemphasized the agency’s commitment to protecting the health and safety of its workers.
"EPA mourns this loss, and our hearts go out to the employee’s family," the spokesperson wrote.
The news was first tweeted out by a Bloomberg Environment reporter.
As of Monday, 13 EPA staffers had tested positive for COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus (Greenwire, March 31).
Region 3 covers the Mid-Atlantic states of Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia along with the District of Columbia. The regional headquarters are in Philadelphia.
Reporter Kevin Bogardus contributed.