Teacher deaths in 3 states raise alarm as new school year begins

American Federation of Teachers president: "If community spread is too high, if you don’t have the infrastructure of testing, and if you don’t have safeguards ... we believe you cannot reopen in person.”
By: | September 10, 2020

Teachers in at least three states have died after bouts with the coronavirus since the dawn of the new school year—although in most cases apparently not from exposure on the job. There are worries that the return to in-person classes will have a deadly impact across the U.S. if proper precautions aren’t taken.

AshLee DeMarinis was just 34 when she died Sunday after three weeks in the hospital. She taught social skills and special education at John Evans Middle School in Potosi, Missouri. A third-grade teacher died Monday in South Carolina, and two other educators died recently in Mississippi. It’s unclear how many teachers in the U.S. have become ill with COVID-19 since the new school year began, but Mississippi alone has reported 604 cases among school teachers and staff.

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