A mother from Florida died of COVID-19 this week, less than a month after her 19-year-old son was also claimed by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, officials said on Tuesday.
The deaths of Jacqueline and Jordan Byrd have taken quite a toll on staff at Fort Braden School, about 15 miles west of the state capital Tallahassee, Leon County schools spokesman Chris Petley told NBC News.
Jordan Byrd was a part-time tutor on that K-8 campus class and Jacqueline Byrd, 55, was once employed at the same school, according to Petley.
Jacqueline Byrd died Monday and her son July 19.
“For my heart I will definitely miss ️ ️ You and Jordan Byrd have left me both,” brother and son Jacary Byrd wrote on Facebook on Monday. “I know you two are having a good time in God. Mother I will definitely miss you.”
One week after Jordan Byrd died, his girlfriend’s mother also lost her life in COVID-19. Karen Bradwell, 53, had been the director of after-school programs at Fort Braden School.
“It just shows how this is spreading across our community,” Petley said.
Florida has struggled for months to control the spread of the coronavirus.
More than 17 percent of Florida people who test for the virus have tested positive, according to a seven-day average compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The World Health Organization has set a 5 percent benchmark for local governments to consider relaxing mandates that distance themselves from society.
Despite the ongoing pandemic, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been pushing aggressively to reopen campuses.
Leon County schools are scheduled to reopen Aug. 31.
“We continue to hold the Bradwell and Byrd families in our thoughts and prayers as they and the entire Ft. Braden community come under control with this tragic situation,” Leon County Superintendent of Schools Rocky Hanna said in a statement. Tuesday.
Pam Saulsby, a spokesman for the health department in the state of Leon, declined to discuss the deaths associated with the Fort Braden school.
“We offer our sincere condolences to all the families who have lost loved ones as a result of COVID-19,” she said in a statement. “We continue to encourage Floridians to follow best practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19. That means keeping your distance from others, wearing a mask, practicing good hand hygiene and staying on home if you are sick “.
Mohamed Syed contributed.