Coronovirus-related deaths of young teachers increase as the new school year begins.


Teachers have died in at least three states Coronavirus Since the beginning of New school year. The deaths have left a teacher union leader worried that a return to individual classrooms across the US would have a fatal effect if proper precautions are not taken.

Virus outbreak - Missouri
AshLee DeMarinis is featured in an untouched photo provided by her sister, Jennifer Heissenbuttel.

Jennifer Heisenbutel / AP


In Missouri, AshLee DeMarinis was just 34 when she died on Sunday after three weeks in hospital. He gave social skills and special education at John Evans Middle School in Potosi, 70 miles southwest of St. Louis.

“The kids thoroughly appreciated her. She was a fantastic special teacher,” former co-worker Mandy Blanks told CBS affiliate KMOV.

In South Carolina, Richland School District 2 officials say 28-year-old Demi Bannister was diagnosed with the virus on Friday and died on Monday. Bannister was a third-grade teacher at Windsor Elementary School in Columbia, beginning her fifth year of teaching.

Officials say Bannister was at the school on August 28, during a week of the workday before the school year began.

Two other teachers recently died in Mississippi. It is unclear how many teachers in the US have become ill with COVID-19 since the new school year began, but Mississippi alone reported 604 cases among school teachers and staff.

The news came amidst serious data about COVID-19 cases in children: More than 500,000 children in america Has tested positive for coronavirus since the epidemic. The American Academy of Pediatrics said that children represented 9.8% of all COVID-19 cases in the US, where more than 6.3 million cases were reported, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Randy Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said that schools need guidelines such as strict social regulations to essentially cover the face and reopen safely.

“If the prevalence of the community is very high, as in Missouri and Mississippi, if you do not have the testing infrastructure, and if you do not have safeguards that prevent the spread of the virus in school, then we believe That you cannot reopen in person, ”said Vengarten.

Johnny Dunlap, a 39-year-old drama and forensic teacher at Dodge City High School in Kansas, said he considered leaving before making the district compulsory for teachers and students. Nevertheless, his history of bladder cancer and high blood pressure has left him with some resentment about being around so many people. Current health conditions can place people at high risk for serious illness and death from the virus.

Dunlap said, “I am in a high school with over 2,000 students. We raced for half a year against such advice.”

The initial phase of the epidemic claimed the lives of dozens of teachers. New York City’s Department of Education alone lost 31 teachers among 75 employees who died on coronovirus.

Across the US, the American Federation of Teachers has listed 210 union members who have died. The list includes support staff and retirees as well as teachers.

The beginning of the new school year brought with it new plagues.

In Oxford, Mississippi, 42-year-old Nakoma James taught in a middle school and helped coach high school football. He said he died on August 6 during the first week of classes, but self-aggression occurred when teachers and students returned to the classroom, Lafayette County School District Superintendent Adam Pugh said.

Pugh recalled that James was a seventh-grade student when he started teaching 30 years ago.

“It was a hard punch to my stomach when I heard,” Pugh said.

James said he worked with the football players during the summer workout, but investigations found that no new cases were associated with him.

Another Mississippi teacher died on Sunday. History teacher Tom Slade recently posted on Facebook about his battle with pneumonia caused by coronovirus. The American flag was flying in half staff in front of Wankleave High School on Tuesday, CBS affiliate WLOX reported.

Slade was teaching the person when the academic year began on August 6, principal Raina Holmes said, but she started quintoning after coming in contact with someone who was positive at the church meeting. His last day of teaching was August 21.

Slade was known for making fun of the judge’s gravel to pacify the noisy students.

“He always brought humor to his class and his students loved that part,” Holmes said.

In Potosí, the one-man class began on 24 August. DeMarinis was already hospitalized by then, but was preparing for school that few weeks earlier, her sister, Jennifer Heisenbutel, said.

Superintendent of Police Alex McCall said he had no contact with any teacher, student or employee.

DeMarinis grew up near New York, but developed a passion for his rural school and Potosi, a city of 2,600 residents, Heissenbuttel said.

DeMarinis wanted to give special education since childhood, when a special education teacher helped her overcome mild dyslexia.

“She had the patience of a saint. She was really up for it,” Hisenbuttel said. “The kids loved him. He touched a lot of lives.”

DeMarinis had asthma, which could put someone at risk of serious illness with COVID-19. He said he started feeling poorly around mid-August, Heissenbuttel said. After fever and shortness of breath, he was tested for coronovirus and was soon hospitalized.

It is not clear where DeMarinis picked up the virus.

Heissenbuttel is a nurse who works in the intensive care unit of a New York area hospital. Somehow, she managed to survive an illness that her sister could not.

“I thought it would be him, not me,” said Hissenbuttel.

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