At Least 6 Lecturers in US Lifeless from COVID-19, So Far

At Least 6 Teachers in US Dead from COVID-19, So Far

AshLee DeMarinis, 34, was nervous about returning to her job as a middle school teacher in Missouri. She had asthma, which placed her at a higher risk of complications from COVID-19.

"She taught special education and it was just her calling," her sister told the Washington Post. "Her students loved her and her colleagues loved her."

Ms. DeMarinis died of the coronavirus earlier this month after working on a ventilator in the hospital for three weeks. She is at least the sixth educator to succumb to the virus since schools reopened in early August.

Educators in Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, and South Carolina have also died after receiving COVID-19 since the beginning of the fall semester. In Mississippi alone, 604 cases of the virus have been reported among school teachers and staff.

Did the infections come from school?

While it is not yet clear whether teachers at school caught the virus, her death has raised questions about whether it is possible to contain the spread of community during personal schooling.

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said schools must put mandatory face-coverings and strict rules on social distancing in order to reopen safely to students and staff.

“If the prevalence in the community is too high, like in Missouri and Mississippi, if you don't have the infrastructure to test it, and if you don't have the safeguards to keep viruses from spreading in school, we don't believe they are is possible to reopen in person, ”he told ABC News.

Among the deceased are:

  • Demetria "Demi" Bannister, a 28-year-old third grade teacher in Columbia, SC
  • Tom Slade, a 53-year-old high school history teacher in Vancleave, MS
  • Nacoma James is a 42 year old football coach based in Oxford, MS
  • Teresa Horn, a 62 year old special education worker in Tahlequah, OK

A special education teacher died a week before virtual classes began in Des Moines, Iowa, according to the Des Moines Register.


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