Thirteen Black employees who worked for Miami-Dade Public Schools have died from COVID-19 since August 16, the school district told CNN Tuesday (September 7).
Among the recently deceased were four teachers, one security monitor, a cafeteria worker, and seven school bus drivers. Two Miami-Dade employees who died from coronavirus recently were part of the same family.
"These were extraordinary educators and people, and their loss is being felt throughout the community," Karla Hernandez-Mats says, who is the president of the United Teachers of Dade. She also confirmed that they were all unvaccinated.
The union learned of the deaths through the victims' loved ones since Florida only reports COVID-19 cases, not deaths. The state's coronavirus dashboard reports that 147 students and 186 employees have tested positive for COVID-19 since August 13.
The school year for Miami-Dade started on August 23.
"The loss of any of our employees is one that is always profoundly felt as every member of this organization is considered a part of Miami-Dade County Public Schools family," the district said in a statement. "We extend our hearts and prayers to the loved ones of those whose lives have recently been lost."
A pop-up vaccination site was open for Miami-Dade employees on Tuesday in honor of the victims, reporters added. Miami-Dade Public Schools is also mulling over a "one-time $275 stipend to any full-time & permanent part-time employee who provides proof of full vaccination," according to a spokesperson with the district.
Miami-Dade is not the only school district facing a COVID crisis. Just last month, one of the largest school districts in the state had over 10,000 students and more than 300 staff under quarantine and/or isolation.