2 Georgia educators die from COVID-19 on same day

The deaths of the elementary school teachers have sparked demands for remote-only learning

Two Georgia educators out of Cobb County died on the same day after battling COVID-19. 

The deaths of elementary school teachers Dana Johnson and Cynthia Lindsey have sparked calls for the suburban Atlanta school district to switch to remote-only learning, NBC News reports.

Johnson, a first-grade teacher at Kemp Elementary School in Powder Springs, was hospitalized in early December after falling ill. The married mother of three was then diagnosed with double pneumonia after contracting COVID-19. She passed away on Thursday (Jan. 21).

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“She was fine in the beginning, then things kind of took a turn,” said Bessie Seabrooks, Johnson’s first cousin.

A Cobb district spokesperson confirmed Johnson’s death in a statement on Friday.

“Our hearts go out to the Johnson family and the entire Kemp community. Ms. Johnson was a valuable part of our academic community. The outpouring of support for her family during this difficult time shows how much she was loved and positively impacted those around her,” the spokesperson said.

After spending more than a week in the hospital on a ventilator, Lindsey, from Sedalia Park Elementary School, also passed away Thursday after losing her battle with coronavirus, the report states.

“Every member of our school community has been impacted by the ongoing battle against Covid-19,” the district’s spokesperson said. “We continue to ask our staff, students, and families to follow public health guidance — wear masks and social distance — so we can stay as healthy as possible.”

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The deaths of the two teachers prompted more than 100 teachers, students, and parents to gather outside a Cobb school board meeting Thursday to demand fully remote learning, per Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Some individuals held signs that read “No more teacher deaths,” while many chanted: “One team, one goal. Save our lives.” 

In-person classes had already been canceled by the district due to an increase of students and staff forced to quarantine. 

“This break will provide our families and staff an opportunity to quarantine and work together to fight Covid-19 from our homes by limiting large gatherings, enforcing social distancing, wearing a mask when social distancing is not possible, and regularly washing our hands,” the district said in a statement.

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