Army Veteran Diagnosed With Coronavirus After His Death

Family says 62-year-old Virginia man died upon making second visit to hospital

NBC Universal, Inc.

An Army veteran from Virginia who died of complications from the coronavirus Sunday wasn’t tested until after his death, his family said.

Christopher Hall III, 62, of Spotsylvania County was a devoted husband of 42 years and the rock of his family, which wonders if more could have been done for him.

Kermora Russell described her father — always the strong one —so weakened by fever, a dry cough and trouble breathing he had to be helped into the car Sunday for his second trip to Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center in Fredericksburg in four days.

“He knew he was not coming back,” she said. “He knew he was dying.”

Russell waited with her mother outside, per current hospital protocol.

Before long, they got the phone call: Her father died just minutes into the admissions process.


Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia local news, events and information

Arlington residents react to massive house explosion

Video: SWAT team tries to coax suspect out of Arlington home before explosion

A few days later, she said she received a text from a physician who treated him saying he tested positive for COVID-19.

“They approved the testing, but he had already passed away by the time the testing was done,” Russell said.

Russell said the family had inquired about a COVID-19 test after her father’s steadily worsening symptoms prompted the first visit to the same medical center. They told the doctor Hall had recently traveled to New York City on family business and suffered from asthma.

But they were informed her father did not meet Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for testing, Russell said.

The family was surprised Hall was not admitted but sent home with medication for pneumonia and told to isolate as a precaution, Russell said. 

Days later, the rock of the family was gone.

News4 emailed a spokesman for Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center for comment but has not yet received a reply.

Contact Us