Coronavirus Education
Lee County Elementary School instructional assistant Heather Antle died of COVID-19 over the weekend.Lee County Schools

Lee County Elementary School instructional assistant Heather Antle died of COVID-19 over the weekend.

A Lee County Schools instructional assistant died of COVID-19 over the weekend, and three more district staff are hospitalized with the virus. 

District leaders say Lee County Elementary School instructional assistant Heather Antle died Sunday of COVID-19. 

“Ms. Heather Antle…was a special lady who made a positive impact on our students and staff every day with her smile and energetic personality,” a message on the district’s Facebook page reads. “She helped anywhere she was needed, assisted with the archery team for years, and brought great joy to the students and staff that she worked with.”

Lee County Schools Superintendent Sarah Wasson confirmed Antle’s death was caused by coronavirus, and said three more staff members are sick enough to be in the hospital, due to COVID.

Lee County Schools is one of several Kentucky school districts that decided to temporarily close in-person classes due to a rise in COVID infections and quarantines. The district is in nontraditional instruction, or NTI, through Sept. 7. That will use up about half of the 10 NTI days the General Assembly granted districts for the 2021-2022 school year.

Some Kentucky district leaders say they plan to ask legislators for more flexibility if lawmakers return for a special session.

Meanwhile, a record number of Kentuckians are in the hospital with COVID-19 as the delta variant sweeps through the state. The vast majority of those hospitalized are unvaccinated.

Jess Clark is WFPL's Education and Learning Reporter.