DeKalb County deputy clerk dies of COVID-19

Three weeks ago, DeKalb County deputy clerk Mary Jones was healthy and excited to return home from a trip. Days later she was admitted to the hospital, tested positive for COVID-19 and she never made it out alive.

"How do you go from being a completely healthy woman to just gone?" Cariletta Jones said of her mother.

"Everybody loved her," she said. "She was the most vibrant person. She was really looking forward to retiring."

Sign up for FOX 5 email alerts

The 66-year-old returned to Dekalb from a vacation in Milwaukee on March 17.

She didn’t feel well, and went to her doctor the next day.

"She went to the doctor twice. He never tested her [for the virus] at all," Jones told FOX5's Alex Whittler.

Instead, the mother of three was diagnosed with influenza and strep throat and told to stay at home for 5 days.

"Close to the fifth day, she had diarrhea nausea, she couldn’t breathe, she was in pain," she said.

Her family took her to Emory Midtown’s emergency room on March 23.

Download the FOX 5 Atlanta app for breaking news and weather alerts.

That's where she tested positive for COVID-19.

At one point while there, Mary Jones was moved to a different floor, because she appeared to be improving, but that changed.

"She just went so fast," she said.

"Full life support. Machine breathing for her. her organs shut down. Her kidneys went first," Jones said. 

Mary Jones she passed Thursday before midnight leaving a large family including several grandchildren behind.

"I want these doctors to run tests immediately. Had they tested her the first time she might’ve been okay," Jones said.

"I want people to know this is real. When it first came out people were like 'oh, it’s no big deal,' but we need to stay home like everybody’s telling us," she said.

App users click here for live updates

Know how the COVID-19 outbreak is impacting Georiga

Best prevention measures:

Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least twenty seconds.

If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Stay home when you are sick.

Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces


Symptoms, testing and how to prepare amid growing COVID-19 outbreak

Who is most susceptible to coronavirus? COVID-19 not just affecting older people

Coronavirus cleaners: These products will kill COVID-19, according to the EPA

Coronavirus and pets: Your cat or dog probably can’t get COVID-19, WHO says

Will sick leave protect me if I get ill from coronavirus? 5 questions answered

RELATED:, FOX launches national hub for COVID-19 news and updates.

Live map: Tracking coronavirus in Georgia