Mississippi teacher dies from COVID-19 complications

A Mississippi teacher has died from COVID-19 complications after students returned for in-person classes.

Tom Slade, 53, a longtime history teacher at Vancleave High School, died Sunday after contracting the virus at a gathering outside of class hours, the Biloxi Sun Herald reported.

The educator tested positive Aug. 24 and shared on social media days later that he was dealing with “pneumoniarona,” a combination of pneumonia and coronavirus, the outlet reported.

It’s unclear whether Slade had been in the classroom since falling sick with the virus.

Teachers had returned to the classroom Aug. 3 then students followed three days later, according to the Jackson County School District’s reopening guidelines.

Slade, who had taught at the school since 1991, was remembered as an “amazing part” of the community in a tribute Monday on the school Facebook page.

Tom Slade
Tom SladeVancleave High School

“He was a true representation of a Vancleave Bulldog and we will forever miss his wisdom, wittiness, love for all students, and love for his school family,” the school wrote.

School officials released a statement this week saying it “cares deeply about the safety of our students, staff, and school community,” news station WLOX reported.

“The district leadership team of about 30 members reviews COVID-19 data and protocols on a weekly basis — and has for the past several months — to ensure the ongoing safety of our JCSD school community,” the statement.

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