Chicago teacher dies of COVID-19 after school visits: family

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A Chicago teacher has died of COVID-19 after several visits to her school – including to distribute school supplies to parents, her family said.Olga Quiroga, 58, a first-grade teacher, started suffering from cold symptoms last month after several trips to Funston Elementary School, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

“These schools are not properly equipped, they are not ready,” said her daughter, Giovanna Quiroga. “My mother, it took once to be in this building to contract it.”

Her mother tried to continue teaching her students virtually despite a bad cough and fatigue, the outlet reported.

But soon, her health began to deteriorate rapidly and she was taken to the emergency room.

“The nurses literally pulled her away from me,” Giovanna said. “And since September 11, she was in the intensive care unit. She just never came home.

Olga died Thursday – just a day after her birthday – following a three-week battle with the virus, the outlet reported.

Her family is now urging Chicago public schools to curb any plans to reopen schools – insisting that Olga’s death is proof they are not safe.

“This virus is very real and… I understand CPS wants to open, but we’re not at that point yet because look what happened,” her daughter said. “They say they’re safe, they’re ready and clearly they’re not.”

Plans to return to in-person learning are still pending in the face of resistance from the Chicago Teachers Union, WGN-TV news channel reported.

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The union said it has received complaints about the safety conditions from those who have had to return to school buildings.

“We have received over 100 complaints from our members regarding the lack of PPE, the way the CPS failed to enforce social distancing, the poor ventilation in school buildings – this is unacceptable,” said Tenille Evans of CTU.

But school officials have denied that the buildings do not meet safety standards.

“Safety is the top priority for the district, and the district has gone beyond what is necessary to create the safest work environments possible for the few school employees who physically show up for work,” the district said.

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