Mother of South Carolina teacher who died from COVID-19 also dies from virus

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The mother of a South Carolina teacher who died from COVID-19 weeks ago has also died from the virus.

Shirley Bannister's 28-year-old daughter Demetria was an elementary school teacher in South Carolina. Demetria died from COVID-19 complications in early September.

When Shirley started having COVID-19 symptoms, she went to the hospital to get tested. However, she was turned away.

"(My aunt) and my uncle went to the hospital, and they wouldn't test them," Shayla Jones, Shirley Bannister's niece, told ABC News. "She tried more than one time to go to the hospital and they wouldn't admit her because they felt that her symptoms weren't severe enough."

Shirley was eventually tested at an urgent care center. She tested positive, was admitted to a hospital and died a week later.

She was the head of the nursing department at Midlands Technical College in Columbia, South Carolina. Her brother said she struggled with diabetes and asthma prior to catching COVID-19.

Shirley's husband Dennis has tested negative for the virus. He and his relatives are all mourning the loss of their loved ones.

"We just try to be there for my uncle, you know, because (Demetria) is his only child," Jones said.

She added that it's been difficult for the family to grieve together as they're unable to gather in person.
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