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Chicago letter carrier tested positive for COVID-19 after childbirth, was released, died days later

CHICAGO — Unique Clay, 31, was the first letter carrier in Chicago to die from COVID-19, and even more tragically, her death came just a week after she gave birth to a healthy baby girl. Her family is demanding answers — why would the University of Chicago Hospital release her with a newborn and the deadly coronavirus?

Unique Clay was a mother of three who loved her children and loved to make people happy.

“I don’t know. I would just like people to know that she was really, really a nice girl, and she just gave her all to family, and I just wish this had never happened,” said Liz Price, Clay’s hairstylist and friend.

Friends at the Irving Park Post Office where she worked the last two years held a balloon launch in her honor Saturday, May 9. More than 30 mail carriers in Chicago have tested positive for coronavirus. Clay’s father said a fever set in during childbirth on April 30.

“When she was in labor, she was running a fever, and they gave her the test for the COVID. When they did let her go home, they gave her ibuprofen, and we were told from watching the news that that feeds the virus itself. You’re supposed to give them Tylenol,” said Alan Brown, Clay’s father.

Within days of being home, Clay passed away.

“It hurts. It hurts. It honestly do,” said Dajah Brown, Clay’s sister.

A heartbroken sister and father can’t understand why the hospital released her knowing she would be struggling with both the care of a newborn and the care of herself with COVID-19.

READ MORE:   Springfield-Greene County Health Department announces possible COVID-19 exposures

“I don’t understand why she was sent home that quick, then being instructed to take medication that feeds into the disease. It was just not handled at all. Someone needs to be held accountable,” said Dajah Brown.

Officials at the University of Chicago Hospital would not comment on Clay’s case, citing privacy laws, but extended their sympathy to her family.

Family said so far, Clay’s baby girl appears to be healthy.

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