A third grade teacher in South Carolina who was in her classroom less than two weeks ago has died from COVID-19, school district officials announced Wednesday.
Demetria “Demi” Bannister, 28, was diagnosed with the virus on Friday and died Monday, Richland 2 school district spokeswoman Libby Roof said in a press release.
Bannister had just started her fifth year teaching third grade at Windsor Elementary School in Columbia, school officials said.
Officials said Bannister was at school on Aug. 28 for a teacher workday, but started working from home the following week as students began the school year with online classes. The district said it will be tracing anyone who may have come into contact with Bannister and instructed custodians to deeply clean the school.
Bannister’s death comes as South Carolina reported only 250 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday — the lowest since June 3. But officials also reported a lower number of people tested: 1,744, which translates to a 14 percent positivity rate.
According to The Associated Press, no other teacher deaths related to COVID-19 have been reported in South Carolina, with most districts allowing students to attend classes in person at least one day a week.
Last week, a video of students crowding at a bar near the University of South Carolina sparked controversy on social media, as many of those who appeared in the video were not wearing masks or adhering to social distancing guidelines. The university’s coronavirus tracker is reporting more than 1,700 confirmed COVID-19 cases on campus since Aug. 1.