A PAX East enforcer has died from COVID-19 following being exposed to the virus while working. Dawn Wood, who had worked the gaming convention since 2014, reportedly came home from PAX East “on top of the world” before falling ill. She passed away overnight on Saturday, April 30.
Prior to her death, her mother says she checked in on Woods every day, bringing her “ice tea and supplies.” On Friday, April 29, her mother dropped off dinner and the mail before returning home. When Woods hadn’t called by 3 PM the next day, her mother sent the police to do a wellness check. The officers then discovered Woods body and determined she had passed away overnight.
According to a press comment given to Kotaku by a PAX representative, Dawn was “a warm and welcoming presence, and someone who always took the time to help others. She loved PAX and gaming, she was a voracious reader, and she loved baking, crafting, and sharing her creations with others. Our community is devastated by her loss and she will be sorely missed.”
While all PAX East guests and employees were required to show proof of vaccination and wear face coverings while attending the convention per the event’s guidelines, Boston dropped its mask mandate a few weeks prior. Due to the increased number of cities dropping these mandates, many have criticized conventions as “super-spreader” events. Some events, such as E3 2022, have even been cancelled.
Following her death, Woods family has created a GoFundMe page to cover funeral expenses. While Wood’s fundraising goal has already been met, donations are still welcome and will be used to help with any additional costs the family might incur. Woods sister, Margrette Domingue, wrote that Woods had “the most fun she had in years” at the convention and emphasized Woods ceremony will be a celebration of her life on the GoFundMe page. Unfortunately, Domingue has since been diagnosed with coronavirus herself, and is currently being hospitalized while her mother takes over organizing the fundraiser. Domingue also attended PAX East.