Brother and sister die from COVID-19 on back-to-back days: ‘The human toll of COVID-19 is real’

September 27, 2020
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Two siblings from Florida, one a paramedic and the other a special education teacher, died from the coronavirus on back-to-back days.

According to the Daily News, Shyla Pennington, 41, was a teaching aide who died from COVID-19 on September 19. Gerald “Jerry” Jones, 51, her brother, died the next day and was a paramedic.

Both siblings worked in Volusia Country, Florida, which is northeast of Orlando.

“Volusia County just lost two public servants, and a family lost two of their loved ones, to COVID-19,” county sheriff Mike Chitwood wrote in a Facebook post. “The human toll of COVID-19 is real, and these are the first responders and front-line workers who risk their own health and safety to keep our society functioning.”

Before testing positive for COVID-19, Pennington had recently returned to work in person at Sugar Hill Elementary. On September 11, the teacher was rushed to the hospital.

Pennington’s school district reported that she allegedly did not contract the virus at work.

Pennington and her brother lived together, and on September 13, Jones was eventually hospitalized.

“Jerry made a difference in so many lives during his 21 years of service in Volusia County, and held a presence that brought smiles to his coworkers and comfort to his patients day after day,” the Volusia Ambulance Association wrote in a GoFundMe for Jones and his family.

Pennington “helped with special needs children. Her passion was her students and her son, Phillip, and South Beach Dance Academy,” her obituary read.

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