Department of Education reports over 70 coronavirus-related staff deaths

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As of Friday May 8, 74 employees of the city’s Department of Education have died due to complications caused by the novel coronavirus, the department announced on Monday. 

According to a statement from DOE spokesperson Miranda Barbot, 70 of those who died where school-based employees including 30 teachers, 28 paraprofessionals, two food service staffers, two administrators, two facilities staff, two school aids, two guidance counselors, one parent coordinator, and a School Computer Technology Specialist.  The remaining four people worked were central office employees. 

Out of the school-based employees, 24 worked in Brooklyn, 19 in the Bronx, 14 in Queens, 9 in Manhattan, and four in Staten Island. 

The agency began releasing weekly numbers a month ago after pressure from parents, students, teachers, unions, and city council members. Barbot’s first update, on April 13, stated 50 employees had died because of the virus. Since then the DOE has released weekly updated numbers. Monday’s count shows that three more employees, one of them being a teacher,  have passed since May 1. 

“In the course of continued outreach to families, we confirmed that one food service employee originally listed did not, according to their loved ones, pass away due to COVID-19 or related illnesses,” said Barbot in a statement. “This individual has been removed from the total count. In this instance, a name was initially reported through other avenues and to be overly cautious and not undercount, we initially added this individual to our total count.”