4 Broward educators with COVID die within 2 days as school year nears

Three Broward County teachers and an educational assistant died within 36 hours this week after contracting COVID-19, according to the teachers’ union.

Broward Teacher’s Union President Anna Fusco also told ABC News that another teacher’s assistant is hospitalized with the virus.

It comes as teachers returned to schools this week to prepare for the first day of classes next Wednesday.

”We have three schools that have to talk about one of their colleagues that passed,” Fusco said.

Two of the educators worked at the same school, while the others worked at different schools. At least two of the affected schools are elementary schools, Rosalind Osgood, Chair of the Broward County School Board, told ABC News.

Three of the educators were not vaccinated, according to Fusco, including one who “was on the road to getting vaccinated” but wasn’t yet cleared by her doctor to get the shot. She “was really looking forward to getting it in the next couple weeks,” the union president said.

Fusco said she couldn’t comment on the vaccination status of the other educator.

Fusco said none of the four educators had been back in school buildings since the end of last year.

It comes as Broward’s public school district battles the state over the face mask mandate the school board voted 8-1 to keep in place earlier this week.

That goes against Gov. Ron DeSantis’ orders against such mask mandates, and the state’s education commissioner has threatened to withhold Broward School Board salaries. The district has a 5 p.m. deadline Friday to reply to the state about its plans.

Broward County is leading the nation in new COVID-19 hospitalizations, according to federal data.

“Our numbers are horrible,” Broward Mayor Steve Geller said of the coronavirus surge in the county.

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