COVID-19 screener at Hampton VAMC takes stand over baby’s health, loses job


HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — The joy of a newborn child and the misery of losing your job. Carlton Moody of Newport News has experienced both in the past two months.

Moody and his wife were excited for the arrival of their newborn daughter, and naturally wanted to protect her. Moody’s job at the Hampton VA Medical Center called for him to screen patients for coronavirus.

Moody thought it was too much of a risk, took a stand and lost his job.

“For the job to do that, I didn’t feel like it was fair. I feel like it was wrong,” Moody said in a Tuesday morning interview.

Carlton Moody just began working at the Hampton VA last August. When the coronavirus came, he was assigned to screening patients as they entered. He says some were getting too close for comfort.

“They’re standing literally right in front of the desk, and some of them would lean over and try to read the paper, or just be right up on me,” he said.

Moody says he didn’t want to endanger the health of his newborn daughter, Sarai.

“I wanted to keep her healthy I didn’t want to risk coming into contact, or bringing anything home, and I wanted to keep it that way,” he said.

Moody says he made his concerns known to his supervisor both in conversation and in an April 15 email.

“It’s common sense not to put someone who just had a newborn baby in a position to be doing screenings with COVID,” Moody said.

Instead, Moody was terminated May 1, and lost his family’s health coverage. The ironic result of Moody’s objections could be adverse health consequences for his daughter.

“My daughter just missed an ultrasound, due to her being breeched, on her hips, and I’ve had to cancel that,” Moody said.

WAVY News reached out to the administration at the Hampton VA Medical Center, and we will post any response we get. In the meantime, Moody has applied to Medicaid hoping to get some sort of health coverage for his family.

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