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Austin ISD Food Worker Dies After Testing Positive For COVID-19

Julia Reihs

A food service worker with the Austin Independent School District died Thursday after testing positive for COVID-19.

Patricia Hernandez, who worked at Casis Elementary for 10 years, had not been involved in any AISD food distribution since schools closed March 13, the district said.

Principal Sam Tinnon said Hernandez was “sweet and well-loved” by the Casis community.

Anneliese Tanner, executive director of food services for AISD, said Hernandez was always proud to show off the quality of food being prepared for kids at Casis.

“Even when I wanted to talk to her about the food or what was going on with her family she would always ask about my daughter,” Tanner said. “She was just a thoughtful and sweet woman.”

Food service workers are distributing around 17,000 meals a day to families while school buildings are closed. The district said these employees are taking precautions to make sure the distribution is safe: They get a health check at the beginning of each shift, kitchens are sanitized daily, employees wear masks and gloves and participate in social distancing while working.

Correction: A previous version of this story said AISD schools closed Feb. 13. 

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Claire McInerny is a former education reporter for KUT.
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