Louisiana governor loses Black woman, 33, staffer to COVID-19 complications

'She lived her life to the fullest and improved the lives of countless Louisianans with disabilities,' Gov. John Bel Edwards said in a statement of April Dunn.

April Dunn_thegrio
April Dunn in undated photo with La. Gov. (Courtesy of Louisiana Governor's Office.)

A 33-year-old member of the Louisiana governor’s staff has passed away due to complications from coronavirus, according to a statement released Saturday by his office.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said April Dunn, who served with his office of disability affairs, died Saturday, reports television news station KNOE.

Dunn, who worked with businesses to make their staffs more inclusive, was instrumental in helping to pass Act 833 of 2014, which provides an alternative pathway to diplomas for individuals with disabilities. She also served as chairwoman of the Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council.

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“It is with heavy hearts that we mourn the loss of our dear April,” Edwards said the statement. “She brightened everyone’s day with her smile, was a tremendous asset to our team and an inspiration to everyone who met her. She lived her life to the fullest and improved the lives of countless Louisianans with disabilities.”

“April worked hard as an advocate for herself and other members of the disability community,” the governor continued, “and when I created the State As A Model Employer Taskforce, April told me how much she wanted to be part of it because of her struggles to find meaningful employment. I was proud to have an advocate like April on the task force and on my staff. She set a great example for how other businesses could make their workforce more inclusive. I ask the entire state to join us in prayer for April’s mother Joanette and her grandmother Gloria.”

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It was unclear how long Dunn had been dealing with coronavirus symptoms.

The U.S. recently became the epicenter of coronavirus cases and CNN has reported that in the United States, deaths related to the virus have exceeded 2,000 with over 100,000 confirmed cases. In Louisiana alone, there are over 3,000 confirmed cases with the number steadily increasing. Orleans Parish has the highest amount of coronavirus cases in the state per-capita as reported by NOLA.com.