Teacher Dies of Coronavirus After Sharing Classroom With Colleagues Who Also Tested Positive

Tarrah Gibbons
July 13, 2020 - 3:15 pm
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    Three teachers in Arizona who shared a classroom for a summer school course all tested positive for COVID-19.

    According to several reports People obtained, one of the teachers died.

    On June 26, Kimberley Chavez Lopez Byrd died after being hospitalized for two weeks due to coronavirus complications. Reports stated that Jena Martinez-Inzunza and Angela Skillings are still battling the virus.

    Byrd, the 61-year-old first-grade teacher, worked at the Hayden-Winkelman Unified School District in eastern Arizona, where she had worked for the last 38 years. Officials in the school said that the teachers wore gloves and face masks in addition to using hand sanitizer. All three women social distanced, but still tested positive for COVID-19.

    "Losing Mrs. Byrd in our small rural community was devastating. She was an excellent educator with a huge heart," said Pamela Gonzalez, principal of Leonor Hambly K8. "We find comfort in knowing her story may bring awareness to the importance of keeping our school employees safe and our precious students safe in this pandemic."

    Her husband, Jesse Byrd, shared that his wife was admitted into the hospital on June 13 and was quickly placed on a ventilator. Byrd said that he had a horrible feeling when she arrived at the hospital and knew this would not be an easy fight.

    "We just prayed for a miracle, and we put her in God's hands and we said either he's gonna work a miracle in her and save her or he's gonna take her home," Jesse said. "She didn't make it ... It's been devastating for us here in our home."

    Days after his wife was hospitalized, Jesse, his daughter, son, daughter-in-law, 4-year-old granddaughter, and several other relatives also tested positive for COVID-19.

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