Fairburn police employee dies from COVID-19, diabetes complications

Cheryl Catron
Cheryl Catron

Credit: Fairburn Police Department

Credit: Fairburn Police Department

Two days after falling ill, a Fairburn Police Department employee died due to complications from COVID-19 and diabetic ketoacidosis.

Cheryl Catron worked for the department as a civilian administrative aide through last Wednesday before becoming sick, police Chief Stoney Mathis said in a Facebook post. Her condition worsened the following day, leading to her hospitalization.

She died just before midnight Friday.

“We are heartbroken here,” he said in the post. “Losing a member of our Fairburn family is an awful thing to endure. Our thoughts and prayers are with Cheryl’s family, friends and all those she loved. She will be greatly missed and never forgotten.”

COMPLETE COVERAGE: Coronavirus in Georgia

Catron's cousin created a GoFundMe page to assist with funeral costs. The family added that Catron had diabetic ketacidosis, which is a potentially lethal complication of diabetes.

“We know all of you had your own special relationships with her: she was your sister, auntie, cousin, niece, friend, classmate, colleague, etc. So we know with certainty that you share in our unbelievable grief at this time,” the page said.

The police department said they did not announce the news until Tuesday because they wanted to confirm she was a COVID-19 victim before potentially sharing misinformation. The chief learned of the positive diagnosis from the family Monday night.

It is with a heavy heart that I must report the death of one of our wonderful Fairburn PD team, Ms. Cheryl Catron....

Posted by Fairburn Police Department on Tuesday, April 7, 2020

It's unclear where Catron lived and whether she is included among Fulton County's 1,124 confirmed coronavirus cases and 36 deaths, according to the latest data from the Georgia Department of Public Health.

RELATED: Georgia police officer reportedly tests positive for coronavirus

The department’s lobby and administrative offices remain closed, and Catron’s coworkers who recently were in direct contact with her were ordered to self-quarantine. Officers are still working the city’s streets and detectives are working in rotating shifts to lessen their exposure, Mathis added.

“The officers are demonstrating incredible courage each day they come to work and start answering calls for help,” Deputy Chief Anthony Bazydlo told AJC.com. “Their dedication to service is what’s keeping us moving forward right now.”

MORE: 'Officers are scared out there': Coronavirus hits U.S. police

He also said the department has received “lots of calls and messages” showing support for Catron’s family and her coworkers. As of Tuesday afternoon, the GoFundMe page had raised about $400.

AJC.com has reached out to the City of Fairburn about Catron’s death.

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