A third-grade teacher in Columbia, South Carolina, died from coronavirus just days after being confirmed to have the virus, district officials said Wednesday.
Demetria “Demi” Bannister, 28, a teacher at Windsor Elementary School, was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Friday before she died on Monday, said Libby Roof, spokesperson for the Richland County School District, in a statement. communicated.
Bannister was last seen in the building on August 28, the last day of work for teachers before the start of the school year, according to The State of Columbia newspaper. The following week, she taught classes virtually from home.
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“With a heavy heart, the directors of (Richland Two) are sharing this information courtesy of Ms. Bannister’s parents who wish to remind others of the seriousness of this illness caused by the coronavirus,” Roof said in the statement.
The school district said it followed the proper procedures for contact tracing and informed close contacts after learning the teacher tested positive for the virus. He also instructed guards to deep clean the school “with EPA-approved virucides and electrostatic disinfection machines,” the newspaper reported, referring to the Federal Environmental Protection Agency.
Bannister did not show symptoms while working in the building, officials said.
The teacher began her third year of teaching third year on August 31. She previously taught fifth grade at the school – where she had worked for five years.
“I would like to express my sincere condolences to the parents, loved ones, friends and family at Ms. Bannister’s school,” Superintendent Dr. Baron Davis of Richland Two said in a statement. “Although she left us too soon, Ms. Bannister’s legacy lives on in the lives of the students she taught during her five years as a dedicated educator.
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Some of her former colleagues have said that she is more than just a teacher to her students, adding that she also leads the student choir and is known as “Windsor’s Songbird,” according to The State.
“Ms. Bannister used her musical talents to bring great joy to our school,” said Denise Quickel, Principal of Windsor Elementary School. “To kick off our school attendance in 2019, she wrote a song about the importance of coming to school. to the tune of “Old Town Road”. The song and video were a big hit with the family at our school. Ms. Bannister loved her students and never missed an opportunity to advocate for students and public education.
Employees at Windsor Elementary School were told of his death on Monday, and parents of his students this year and last year were told on Tuesday, the statement said.
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“My heart is so heavy right now. We lost an amazing young teacher this week at Richland Two, ”Richland Two board member Dr. Teresa Holmes wrote on Wednesday. “God won another Angel. Please be careful and cautious in these difficult times of Covid19. RIH…. We love you. ”
As of Thursday morning, South Carolina reported more than 126,213 confirmed coronavirus cases and at least 2,942 deaths from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University.