Three Arizona summer school teachers who followed the recommended safety protocols for coronavirus in the same class contracted the contagion – and one of them died, reports said.
“It’s just a bad dream that I can’t wake up from,” said Jesse Byrd, husband of beloved 61-year-old Kimberley Chavez Lopez Byrd in the Republic of Arizona.
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His wife had already retired, but she had missed the classroom so much that she eventually returned to work as a first-year teacher in the Hayden-Winkelman Unified School District in Gila County.
In June, Kimberley and two other teachers – Angela Skillings and Jena Martinez-Inzunza – gathered in a classroom to teach a group of kindergartens and first- and second-year students, who watched educators online while they were entertained drawing inspiration from the nature of experiences such as using Cheetos to demonstrate pollination of bees.
The women said they work with masks and gloves, that they are socially distant and that they use a hand sanitizer to protect themselves, CNN reported.
“We have been very careful,” Skillings told the republic.
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Kimberley – who had diabetes, lupus and asthma – was the first to test positive for the virus, and on June 26, less than two weeks after she became a confirmed case, she died.
The other two teachers tested positive shortly after Kimberley and said they were still suffering from complications.
Arizona is one of a multitude of American states suffering from a recent virus outbreak.
The state reported 2,537 new cases of contagion on Sunday, for a current total of 122,467 – more than a third of which have occurred so far this month, according to statistics from the health ministry. ‘Arizona.
There were 86 other deaths Sunday also in Arizona, for a total of 2,237 deaths. 69 deaths were reported on Saturday and 44 the day before. The state’s highest daily toll was 177 dead Tuesday.
Most state schools had a reopening date in early August, until Arizona governor Doug Ducey said last month that they would be delayed until at least August 17. Last week, Ducey only added that classroom learning would start again “when it is safe,” said the Republic.
The head of public schools, Kathy Hoffman, wrote on Facebook on July 9: “Today, more than 2,000 Arizonans have died from # COVID19. Among them is tragically Kimberley Chavez Lopez Byrd, a first-year teacher in the unified school district of Hayden-Winkelman.
“The dedication of teachers to serving students should not be at high risk. Arizona needs to do more to slow the spread of COVID19 and ensure a safe return to our classrooms. ”
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District Superintendent Jeff Gregorich spoke of Kimberley’s death by opposing the reopening of local schools in the traditional sense.
” I think [that] really the message or concern of our staff is that we cannot even ensure the safety of our staff by themselves. … How are we going to protect 20 children in a classroom? He told CNN.
“I just don’t see how it is possible. ”
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