WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — An Iowa school employee who died of COVID-19 was exposed to the virus at work before she tested positive and later died, her family claims.
Jennifer Crawford, a West Des Moines staff member at Indian Hills Junior High, passed away on Oct. 3 after a battle with COVID-19 that began with an exposure sometime in early September or late August.
According to a statement provided by the family, Crawford's last day at school was Sept. 2. She got a call from the principal on Sept. 4, informing her she had been exposed to coronavirus at school and should be tested immediately.
Crawford began experiencing symptoms around that time and tested positive for the virus.
She was visiting her mother in Indiana during this same time period, and ended up infecting her mother, according to the family.
Crawford's family said Jennifer's symptoms worsened and on Sept. 14, she was hospitalized and then later died from the disease. She was 53 years old.
"COVID-19 is a horrible deadly disease not to be ignored or treated lightly," Crawford's family said. "Jennifer took all precautions at school recommended by the Governor and still contracted and died from this disease."
Local 5 has reached out to the school district for comment.
Crawford is one of 1,485 Iowans who has passed away from coronavirus as of Tuesday afternoon.