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Sedalia Park Elementary parapro dies from COVID after days on a ventilator

On Thursday, friends of Cynthia Lindsey confirmed she died after spending 11 days in the hospital on a ventilator.

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Yet another Cobb County educator has died from COVID-19.

On Thursday, friends of Cynthia Lindsey confirmed with 11Alive the paraprofessional at Sedalia Park Elementary died after spending 11 days in the hospital on a ventilator.

While the district would not comment or provide details on Lindsey's condition leading up to her death - citing "every staff member's legal right to medical privacy" - it did say that "every member of our schools has been impacted by the ongoing battle against COVID-19."

Credit: Provided
Cynthia Lindsey
Credit: Janet Givler
Credit: Janet Givler

News of Lindsey's death came on the same day as that of another elementary school teacher in the same district. 

Dana Johnson was a teacher at Kemp Elementary School. The principal didn't state Johnson's cause of death in a letter about her passing that 11Alive received earlier in the day. However, the letter urged everyone to "make every effort to be as safe and healthy as we can." 

Credit: Facebook
Credit: Facebook

And a statement from a Cobb County School District spokesperson echoed the message sent about Lindsey's death, saying how the virus has impacted the school community. 

Another teacher from Hendricks Elementary in Cobb County, Patrick Key, died from COVID-19 on Christmas Day.

The recent string of deaths is likely tied to the unfortunate, but anticipated rise in transmission of the virus - and subsequent deaths - following the holiday season.

Currently, the spread of the coronavirus in Cobb County is in the "red zone," according to statewide data. The latest report from the White House Coronavirus Task force showed that the northwest metro county was one of the top-three places for new virus growth in the entire state. As of the latest numbers for Thursday, Cobb County had a total of 47,106 new cases - up from 44,017 one week ago and 40,118 a week before that.

RELATED: 'No evidence of containment' in COVID-19 resurgence in Georgia, WH report says

The rapid spread in cases has even forced the district to revert back to all-virtual learning periodically, in order to slow the spread. 

11Alive's Coronavirus Data Team found that the case rate in school-aged kids in Cobb has shot up a whopping 1,100% since fall. And in adults, the rate is up more than 560%.

For some teachers in the district, the situation has prompted concerns for their health and safety.

On a soggy Thursday evening, the same night when Lindsey and Johnson's deaths were made public, 11Alive's cameras were present when dozens of teachers gathered outside the school board - wearing masks and holding signs in protest.

Credit: Tyson Paul / WXIA

But they're not alone. Over the weekend, teachers from the Atlanta Public Schools held their own protest.

The Cobb County School District, meanwhile, said it continues to ask staff, students, and families to follow public health guidance - wearing masks and practicing social distance - "so we can stay as healthy as possible." 

Details on funeral arrangements for Lindsey have not yet been posted. Friends of hers set up a GoFundMe in her name to cover the costs.


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