DES MOINES, Iowa – An Iowa teacher died last week just days after testing positive for COVID-19.
Jason Englert, 38, was in his first year of teaching Belmond-Klemme Community School District’s Talented and Gifted program, said Superintendent Daniel Frazier.
An outbreak at the district’s secondary school was reported the previous week, Frazier said, believed to be linked to students who were getting together outside school and spreading the virus. He said some of the students brought the virus to school.
Classes at the secondary school moved online Oct. 30. The Wright County Health Department tested all teachers and staff members at the secondary school on Nov. 2. On Nov. 5, Englert was told he tested positive, Frazier said.
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“We sent him home early that Thursday and checked on him that Thursday night and that was the last time we heard from him,” Frazier said.
On Sunday, police were called to Englert’s home to perform a welfare check after he did not return his father’s calls, and police found his body. Police concluded he died suddenly a day or two earlier, Frazier said.
The Belmond-Klemme district is about 90 miles north of Des Moines.
Englert also coached junior high volleyball and junior high girls basketball. He also planned to coach varsity girls track, Frazier said.
Before Belmond-Klemme, Englert taught junior high and high school math at Manson Northwest Webster. Grief counselors were made available for Belmond-Klemme students.
“Of course (his students) were quite shocked. First couple days not knowing quite how to react,” Frazier said. “There’s a lot of sadness.”
Follow reporter Philip Joens on Twitter @Philip_Joens.