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3 school teachers in Arizona get COVID-19, one later dies

Updated July 12, 2020 - 8:51 pm

PHOENIX — Three school teachers in the small eastern Arizona community of Winkelman tested positive for the coronavirus last month and one of them died, according to a Phoenix television station.

ABC15 reported Sunday that Kimberley Byrd shared a classroom with two other teachers at Leonor Hambly K-8.

The three were using classroom tools to teach their summer school students online when all three got sick.

“She notified me that they wanted to intubate her and put her on a ventilator,” Jesse Byrd said of his wife. “That was the last time I was allowed to speak with her.”

Byrd said he wasn’t allowed to be at his wife’s side when she died June 26 after being hospitalized for almost two weeks.

Family members said 61-year-old Kimberly Byrd had pre-existing health issues including asthma, lupus and diabetes.

“She bought face shields, she practiced social distancing. She did everything she could to avoid this virus,” Luke Byrd said of his mother, who was a teacher for nearly 40 years and came out of retirement to help more students.

“Arizona cannot afford to lose another teacher like Kim,” said Hayden-Winkelman Unified School District Superintendent Jeff Gregorich.

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