At least 3 teachers have died from Covid-19 complications in recent weeks

Demetria Bannister, an elementary school teacher, died of coronavirus complications a week into the start of the school year in South Carolina. The 28-year-old had taught at the Windsor Elementary School in Columbia for five years, CNN affiliate WIS reported.

Posted: Sep 11, 2020 8:41 PM
Updated: Sep 11, 2020 8:41 PM

At least three teachers have died from complications of Covid-19 in recent weeks, according to CNN reporting and local media reports.

Demetria Bannister, a 28-year-old elementary school teacher in Columbia, South Carolina, was diagnosed with the virus last Friday and died Monday from Covid-19 complications, a week into the start of the school year there, CNN affiliate WIS reported.

AshLee DeMarinis, a 34-year-old middle school teacher in Potosi, Missouri, died Sunday after battling complications related to Covid-19 for three weeks, CNN affiliate KMOV reported.

Thomas Slade, a teacher at Vancleave High School in Jackson County, Mississippi, passed away last week, Superintendent John Strycker said in a statement on Wednesday.

CNN affiliate WLOX reported that Slade died on Sunday due to complications related to Covid-19.

Demetria Bannister loved music

Bannister had taught at the Windsor Elementary School for five years, WIS reported. She started her third year of teaching third-grade students virtually on August 31.

In addition to teaching, Bannister was passionate about music, and worked with the school choir in various projects. She also hosted a student club for aspiring singers.

"Known as Windsor's Songbird, Ms. Bannister used her musical talents to bring a great deal of joy to our school," said Denise Quickel, principal of Windsor Elementary.

At a school attendance event last year, she wrote a song about the importance of not missing classes to the tune of "Old Town Road," the popular song by rapper Lil Nas X.

"The song and video were a big hit with our school family," Quickel said. "Ms. Bannister loved her students and never missed an opportunity to advocate for students and public education."

She is remembered for her dedication

The school district was notified that Bannister tested positive for coronavirus Friday. It followed the procedures for disinfecting, contact tracing and notification of close contacts.

The contact tracing and notification were based on the date she was last at the elementary school, which was August 28, the school district said. She started the school year three days later, teaching her students virtually from home.

"While gone from us too soon, Ms. Bannister's legacy lives on through the lives of the students she taught in her five years as a dedicated educator," said Baron R. Davis, superintendent for Richland School District Two.

School district officials said her parents allowed them to share the information to remind others of coronavirus risks. Employees and students at Windsor Elementary School are getting counseling services.

Since January, health authorities have identified more than 6.3 million Covid-19 cases and more than 191,000 deaths in the United States. South Carolina has had more than 126,000 infections and over 2,900 deaths.

AshLee DeMarinis 'was a wonderful teacher'

AshLee DeMarinis, who taught social skills at John Evans Middle School, "was a wonderful teacher loved by students, staff and members of our community. Her commitment and passion for her students and community to succeed should be an inspiration for all of us," Superintendent Alex McCaul and other administrators said in a letter notifying the community of her death.

While McCaul would not confirm that DeMarinis had passed away due to Covid-19, he told CNN that contact tracers had come to the school where DeMarinis taught, as was required by the local health department, and determined that she hadn't had close contact with any teachers, staff or students.

Students had not returned to the classrooms in Potosi, Missouri, when DeMarinis first became ill.

Friday would have been DeMarinis birthday, Principal Jodi Elder told CNN, and those at the school are planning to mark the occasion by wearing red, her favorite color.

Thomas Slade was 'living his dream,' principal said

The Mississippi high school teacher was remembered for serving as department chairman and history teacher.

"He was truly the personification of a public servant, devoting his life and career to serving the community where he was raised," Superintendent Strycker said.

Slade "loved our community, he loved our school, he loved our students, he was very patriotic," Vancleave High School Principal Raina Holmes told CNN. "He would always say that his dream job was to be a teacher and that he was living his dream."

The principal described his classroom as having books everywhere, including old encyclopedias.

"He's kind of like the father to our campus," she said.

Sometimes, Slade would use a gavel in class, and he had utilized a word -- "skadoosh" -- that he would use "like an aloha," Holmes said. When a student made a great point he would say it in one tone. If they said something bad, he used it with a negative tone.

"He was a hard worker who loved his job, loved education, just an awesome guy," Holmes said.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 300913

Reported Deaths: 5332
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion41330845
Lake26364448
Allen17299290
Elkhart16665212
St. Joseph16319220
Hamilton12459164
Vanderburgh9428112
Tippecanoe826727
Porter791279
Johnson6139164
Hendricks5807154
Vigo574474
Monroe525247
Clark495374
Delaware4789103
Madison4760119
LaPorte446894
Kosciusko446139
Howard325575
Warrick316072
Floyd306177
Bartholomew303262
Wayne295261
Cass293431
Marshall289944
Grant258747
Noble246846
Hancock243749
Henry237136
Boone235154
Dubois230430
Dearborn208829
Jackson206033
Morgan200643
Knox178017
Gibson177022
Clinton174920
Shelby174554
Lawrence171646
DeKalb171229
Adams165219
Miami155114
Wabash153018
Daviess152243
Fayette145233
Steuben141113
Jasper138311
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LaGrange136629
Montgomery131226
Whitley129910
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Huntington122310
Posey118913
Putnam118326
Wells118327
Randolph117819
White117421
Clay115621
Jefferson114214
Greene100253
Scott99818
Jay95012
Starke89221
Sullivan86615
Fulton81117
Perry80921
Jennings80514
Spencer8047
Fountain7378
Washington7176
Carroll66813
Franklin65925
Orange65728
Vermillion5832
Owen5816
Parke5416
Newton54012
Tipton53726
Rush5216
Blackford51211
Pike50218
Pulaski36810
Martin3485
Brown3263
Benton3251
Crawford2781
Union2621
Switzerland2473
Warren2352
Ohio2257
Unassigned0265

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 363304

Reported Deaths: 6020
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin49267665
Cuyahoga35214736
Hamilton29462371
Montgomery19636225
Butler14472144
Lucas14033409
Summit12962310
Stark8529197
Warren798975
Mahoning7068299
Lake662766
Lorain623697
Clermont563946
Delaware540335
Licking535875
Fairfield523763
Trumbull5159144
Greene510563
Clark501064
Allen460685
Marion457751
Wood4394107
Medina428654
Miami416465
Pickaway396448
Columbiana339597
Portage334471
Tuscarawas317557
Wayne314993
Richland306732
Mercer284737
Ross239259
Hancock232736
Muskingum231910
Auglaize223230
Putnam221449
Erie217165
Darke217058
Ashtabula215753
Geauga197351
Scioto193615
Union18658
Lawrence185436
Shelby184815
Athens18454
Seneca173118
Belmont158529
Madison156218
Sandusky152327
Preble148421
Huron147518
Defiance137921
Holmes137739
Logan123613
Knox122518
Fulton122025
Crawford119116
Ottawa118930
Washington116427
Clinton103414
Ashland102722
Williams10238
Jefferson10124
Highland99517
Henry98422
Brown9644
Champaign9345
Jackson90312
Van Wert8976
Fayette89217
Hardin86118
Morrow8552
Guernsey83313
Coshocton81413
Perry77012
Adams75012
Pike7261
Wyandot70516
Gallia70413
Paulding62710
Hocking61011
Noble59722
Carroll44310
Meigs37612
Monroe31021
Morgan2395
Vinton2105
Harrison1913
Unassigned00
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