Fayette Co. schools employee’s death connected to COVID-19

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A case of mistaken identity nearly caused an evacuation at a Madison County school Wednesday morning. (Getty Images)

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDKY) -A Fayette County Schools employee’s death has been linked to COVID-19.

Ruthie Martinez was a permanent substitute teacher in her second year working at Winburn Middle School.

Principal Mike Hale sent a letter to families writing Martinez’s death was determined to be COVID-related. Hale said she hadn’t been on campus four days before she died.

Shortly after, the letter states someone in her household tested positive for the virus.

A district spokeswoman said the school worked with the health department to do contact tracing. One staff member was quarantined for 14 days out of an abundance of caution, and certain areas of the building were deep cleaned.

Fayette County Schools Superintendent Manny Caulk said in a statement, “The news that her death has now been linked to COVID-19 is an important reminder for all of us that this virus is a very real health threat.”

“She filled a lot of different roles for us both certified and classified, always eager to take on any responsibility and had a good rapport with the staff a good rapport with the kids,” Principal Hale said.

Caulk also acknowledged that this news comes as the district decides when and how in-person instruction will resume.

Martinez’s death was not included in the Fayette County Health Department’s COVID-19 report today.

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