Popular South Carolina Third-Grade Teacher Dies Three Days After COVID-19 Diagnosis

Popular South Carolina Third-Grade Teacher Dies Three Days After COVID-19 Diagnosis

Demetria “Demi” Bannister died three days after she was diagnosed, officials say

Published September 10th

Written by BET Staff

A 28-year-old third grade teacher in Columbia, South Carolina, who was teaching less than two weeks ago has died of COVID-19 complications, according to the Associated Press.

Demetria “Demi” Bannister, received a coronavirus diagnosis on Friday (Sept. 4) and died Monday (Sept 7), Richland County school officials announced on Wednesday (Sept. 9) in a news release.

On Aug. 28, the Windsor Elementary School teacher was set to begin her fifth year as an educator. She showed up for teacher workdays, which are prep days prior to the beginning of the school year and began teaching from home the following week. There were no other deaths of teachers reported in South Carolina. Students in the state have been returning to the classrooms over the course of the past three weeks. 

School officials say that Bannister had not been showing symptoms when she returned to the school and all protocols had been followed, according to local station, WIS.

Bannister’s district, Richland 2, started the school year on Aug. 31 with all virtual classes, the AP reported.

“I want to express my sincere condolences to Ms. Bannister’s parents, relatives, friends and school family," Richland 2 Superintendent Dr. Baron Davis said in a statement. "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."

State health officials say South Carolina has reported more than 124,000 COVID-19 cases and 2,800 deaths. The state reported 250 new cases, which is the lowest since June 3, but it also said the number of people testing has also decreased. 

For the latest on the coronavirus, check out BET’s blog on the virus, and contact your local health department or visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Photo: Screengrab/WIS


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