BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. (NewsNation Now) — Less than a week from the start of school in Broward County, the nation’s sixth-largest school district is already dealing with tragedy.
Two teachers and a teacher’s assistant died from COVID-19 within 24 hours of each other.
Teachers union president Anna Fusco said all three women were in their 40s. One had a pre-existing condition.
“It was just heart-wrenching,” said Fusco. “My first instinct was to figure out how to reach out to the family and the principal.”
The deaths come as school districts around the country debate mask mandates in school.
Near Nashville, in Williamson County, Tennessee, a full-capacity crowd packed a raucous school board meeting this week.
“This decision is not about parent’s rights. It’s about students’ rights to safe learning environments,” said a mother and pediatric doctor.
“Folks, if you think it’s OK to put a dirty napkin on a kid’s face for hours on end, touching and adjusting in a non-sterile environment — and this is going on the second year — you need a new doctor,” said another attendee.
In Mississippi, nearly 800 students tested positive in the first week of classes, which sent several schools back to remote learning.
One Georgia district was forced to shut down for two weeks due to an outbreak.
Back in Florida, districts already have hundreds of cases and thousands of students in quarantine.
All of this comes as hospitalizations continue to tick up.
Mickey Smith, the CEO of Oak Hill Hospital just north of Tampa, says his staff is at a breaking point.
“I can tell you I don’t care whether you have been vaccinated or not because dead is dead,” Smith said. “I’m sure you don’t read the Citrus County Chronicle, but the front story is a 29-year-old EMT who came to our hospital and died of COVID this week.”
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