Beloved Guidance Counselor, 47, Dies After Contracting COVID: ‘We Lost an Angel Way Too Soon’
A guidance counselor who worked at a Pennsylvania middle school has died of coronavirus-related complications. She was 47.
Alexandra Chitwood, who worked in Lancaster County’s Manheim Township School District for nearly 20 years, died of acute respiratory failure related to COVID-19 on Nov. 4, according to LancasterOnline.
“We lost an angel way too soon,” husband Kenneth Chitwood told the outlet.
Kenneth explained that his wife came into contact with a person who later tested positive for COVID-19 while scrapbooking in mid-October — despite wearing a face mask and gloves.
Both Kenneth and his wife tested positive for the virus later that month.
Although Kenneth has had an asymptomatic case, he said his wife initially suffered from some minor symptoms — including shortness of breath and a cough — before things suddenly worsened shortly before her death.
"It went from, 'I'm OK. I don't want to go to the hospital. I don't want to do anything,' to the next minute, she's not breathing," he told NBC affiliate WGAL8. “That's what I want the people to know is this thing will sneak up on you and kick your butt in a heartbeat.”
Following Alexandra’s death, the school district where she worked mourned the loss of their “dear friend, colleague, and role model.”
“She cared deeply for all students and staff,” they wrote in an emotional social media tribute. “Through her work, she impacted not only students during their time at the middle school, but also prepared them for their education at the high school level and beyond. Her dedication in finding ways to support the needs of all students was undeniable.”
“Her colleagues have asked our community to wear red on Monday, Alex's favorite color, to honor her legacy,” the message continued. “She will be greatly missed.”
The middle school where she worked also canceled all in-person learning on Friday.
"It's been an intense outpouring from colleagues, students, friends, everybody," her stepson told WGAL8.
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