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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: 724214

Reported Deaths: 13363
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion989071736
Lake53172962
Allen40223675
Hamilton35354408
St. Joseph35270550
Elkhart28228437
Tippecanoe22297217
Vanderburgh22231396
Porter18560304
Johnson17832376
Hendricks17098313
Clark12897191
Madison12519339
Vigo12379244
Monroe11811168
LaPorte11691210
Delaware10571185
Howard9823215
Kosciusko9347117
Hancock8204139
Bartholomew8036155
Warrick7754155
Floyd7630176
Wayne7002198
Grant6986174
Boone6652101
Morgan6529139
Dubois6139117
Marshall5954111
Dearborn577177
Cass5769105
Henry5671102
Noble555783
Jackson499672
Shelby488196
Lawrence4470120
Gibson433791
Harrison432972
Clinton426353
DeKalb423284
Montgomery423088
Whitley392739
Huntington386380
Steuben381057
Miami379165
Knox370990
Jasper361347
Putnam357760
Wabash352478
Adams340354
Ripley338370
Jefferson328481
White312254
Daviess294399
Wells290281
Decatur282992
Fayette278362
Greene276085
Posey270733
Scott264453
LaGrange263870
Clay258945
Randolph239581
Washington239131
Spencer230431
Jennings228848
Starke213252
Fountain211846
Sullivan210442
Owen195856
Fulton194240
Jay190429
Carroll187820
Perry182537
Orange181854
Rush172625
Vermillion167643
Franklin167235
Tipton161945
Parke145416
Blackford134332
Pike132634
Pulaski115945
Newton106734
Brown101441
Crawford99014
Benton98114
Martin87415
Warren80515
Switzerland7808
Union70610
Ohio56211
Unassigned0413

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1077284

Reported Deaths: 19344
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1251861392
Cuyahoga1110942107
Hamilton796611200
Montgomery511561012
Summit46842933
Lucas41780782
Butler38228580
Stark32099907
Lorain24828480
Warren24214297
Mahoning21403586
Lake20518368
Clermont19704238
Delaware18463131
Licking16373210
Fairfield16083199
Trumbull15966466
Medina15192262
Greene14991244
Clark13927297
Wood13020188
Portage12772201
Allen11564231
Richland11277198
Miami10652215
Muskingum8783132
Wayne8738210
Columbiana8735229
Pickaway8527121
Marion8494135
Tuscarawas8459243
Erie7831154
Hancock6880126
Ross6821152
Ashtabula6756169
Geauga6659148
Scioto6385101
Belmont5828167
Union569347
Lawrence5536102
Jefferson5481151
Huron5409119
Darke5333122
Sandusky5316120
Seneca5248121
Athens518058
Washington5137109
Auglaize487084
Mercer479085
Shelby466893
Knox4472110
Madison434761
Putnam4260100
Ashland420989
Fulton419869
Defiance416597
Crawford3954106
Brown391857
Logan380676
Preble378298
Clinton369861
Ottawa365779
Highland352761
Williams337075
Champaign329258
Guernsey314453
Jackson311651
Perry294250
Morrow283639
Fayette280649
Hardin269864
Henry267766
Coshocton263858
Holmes2587101
Van Wert242463
Pike237233
Adams235852
Gallia235148
Wyandot230654
Hocking214662
Carroll190947
Paulding171140
Meigs144339
Noble133437
Monroe130642
Morgan108223
Harrison107337
Vinton82015
Unassigned02
Fort Wayne
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Angola
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Huntington
Partly Cloudy
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Decatur
Clear
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Van Wert
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Shower and thunderstorm chances increase Thursday afternoon.
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