Miami-Dade schools lose 3 employees to COVID-19 in just 2 weeks, union says

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – The union that represents bus drivers, food service, security, maintenance and custodial staff at Miami-Dade County Public Schools is mourning the deaths of three employees from COVID-19 in a span of just two weeks.

Phyllis Leflore, president of the AFSCME Local 1184, said that maintenance worker Larry Williams died last weekend. She says his colleague notified the union that he had been admitted to the hospital after testing positive for COVID-19 about a week prior.

He had been employed by the district for 31 years.

“Anytime we navigate the profound loss of an employee within our organization, we offer our sincerest sympathies to the family,” a M-DCPS District spokesperson said in a statement. “We are deeply saddened by the loss of Mr. Williams, a well-respected, long-serving employee of the district.”

News of Williams’ death comes shortly after the passing of school bus driver Donna Blatch. Her family says she died just four days after testing positive for COVID-19.

Leflore said the union has lost three members in two weeks but did not reveal the name of the third person.

Since students returned to classrooms in the fall, school staff have expressed concerns about contracting COVID-19.

About the Author:

Christina returned to Local 10 in 2019 as a reporter after covering Hurricane Dorian for the station. She is an Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist and previously earned an Emmy Award while at WPLG for her investigative consumer protection segment "Call Christina."