Mariska Hargitay is in mourning after a Law & Order: SVU crew member died from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The actress, 56, paid tribute to Josh Wallwork — a 45-year-old costumer for the NBC drama — in a tweet on Thursday, writing, “Heartbroken we are.”
“I don’t think I ever saw him without a smile on his face. He brought love and kindness everywhere he went. Always ready with the joke,” she remembered. “The SVU Corredor will never be the same. We will miss you Josh. #ForeverInOurHearts.”
The tragic news was initially shared by Law & Order: SVU showrunner Warren Leight, who tweeted a screenshot of a Facebook post from a Wallwork family friend announcing the death.
“Very sad news today. One of our costumers, and a beautiful man, Josh Wallwork, passed away from complications of Covd-19. Cast and crew send love and prayers to his family and friends. We are heartbroken,” he wrote.
In addition to Law & Order: SVU, Wallwork previously worked as a costumer on Madam Secretary, The Get Down and Bull.
“It is with permission of The Wallwork Family, and a heavy heart supported by loved ones, that I announce the passing of Josh Wallwork from complications of Covid 19,” a post re-shared by Leight read. “He peacefully transitioned at the tender age of 45, today. You are loved by so many. As we always used to say, ‘Until next time, my love.’ “
The first cases of a mysterious respiratory illness — what is now known as COVID-19, a form of coronavirus — began in Wuhan, China, in late December. Since then, the virus has spread worldwide, leading the World Health Organization to declare a public health emergency, the first since the zika epidemic in 2016.
At first, this coronavirus was contained to China, but Wuhan is a major transportation hub with hundreds of flights leaving from and landing in the city of 11 million each day. Soon, as people flew from the area, the coronavirus reached more countries, including the United States.
The first U.S. case was found in Everett, Washington, just outside of Seattle, in a man who had recently returned from Wuhan. The number of cases grew from there, and the virus began to spread more rapidly in communities across the U.S.
As of Thursday morning, there have been at least 81,578 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 1,180 deaths in the nation, according to a New York Times database. The U.S. now has more known cases than any country.
Worldwide, there are at least 511,603 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 23,067 deaths from coronavirus-related illness.
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.
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