3rd Grade Teacher Dies from Coronavirus One Week After School Starts


An elementary school teacher in South Carolina died from coronavirus complications just one week after school started.

empty classroom with coronavirus mask

Teacher Diagnosed with COVID-19 on Friday, Died the Following Monday

Demetria Bannister was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Friday and sadly died on the following Monday. She was 28 years old. CNN affiliate WIS reported that she taught at the Windsor Elementary School in Columbia for five years and had started her third year of teaching third-grade students on August 31.

Ms. Bannister was known at the school for her love of music, where she worked with the school choir on a variety of projects.

“Known as Windsor’s Songbird, Ms. Bannister used her musical talents to bring a great deal of joy to our school,” said the principal, Denise Quickel.

Last year, Ms. Bannister wrote a song about how you shouldn’t miss classes to the tune of “Old Town Road,” a song by rapper Lil Nas X.

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

“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 the superintendent for Richland School District Two, Baron R. Davis.

Related: Child Hospitalizations Surge 23% in Florida As Schools Reopen

School Alerted About Teacher Testing Positive, She Was Last at School on Aug. 28

Ms. Bannister was at the school on August 28 and started the school year just three days later teaching her students virtually from home.

The school district was notified about her testing positive for the virus on Friday and then followed the procedures in place for disinfecting, notification of close contacts and contact tracing.

Contact tracing and notification was based on the last date she was present at the elementary school. School district officials say that Ms. Bannister’s family allowed them to share information of her having the virus with the community to help remind others of coronavirus risks. Students and employees at Windsor Elementary School are being provided counseling services.

As of January, health authorities say they’ve identified more than 6.3 million coronavirus cases, with nearly 191,000 deaths resulting from the virus in the United States. South Carolina alone represents over 2,900 of those deaths, with more than 126,000 infections.

As the clock ticks, control of the coronavirus pandemic continues to waver.

Related: 7-Year-Old Dies From COVID-19, Had No Underlying Health Issues