Its a story that has many teachers worried as they head back to classes this month. CBS2 reports that a longtime Des Moines teacher has died after suffering complications of COVID-19. The school district confirmed the death late Tuesday.

District spokesperson Phil Roeder said that the teacher who passed away taught at Ruby Van Meter School for intellectually disabled students. The teacher fell ill after going on an out of state trip. The teacher died this week. Roeder did not release the teacher's gender or name due to privacy policies. He said that the teacher had not been in a classroom for several months. Des Moines schools shut down in March and are scheduled to reopen next week on a virtual learning plan.

CBS2 reports that the death is believed to be among the first for educators in the state of Iowa. A 73 year old gym teacher at Iowa City Regina passed away back in April. The state's coronavirus website only lists one known death among teachers out of over 1,100 cases of the virus.

The Des Moines school district is still in a dispute with Governor Kim Reynolds over how to reopen. The governor wants the district to be open for 50% in person learning. But district officials say that can't be done safely given the current spread of the virus. A hearing on the issue is scheduled for Friday.

Officials say that the teacher's death is a reminder of the potential danger that the virus holds for older teachers. CBS2 reports that a survey of the Des Moines district found 1500 employees that have underlying health conditions that could put them at risk. That didn't even include employees over the age of 60.


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