Rockdale County

Man says his wife who died from COVID-19 was pressured to work by Rockdale school while sick

ROCKDALE COUNTY, Ga. — Two school cafeteria workers died weeks apart from COVID-19. Now one woman’s husband says the school made her work even after she got sick.

Sara Anderson and Janice Chastain were best friends. Channel 2′s Tyisha Fernandes learned they worked together at a Rockdale County middle school for years.

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The women were beloved at the school, where students and staff said they are missing them. Anderson’s husband said he wishes this situation was handled differently.

“She was the kindest person I know,” Robert Anderson said.

His wife, Sara, was a cafeteria worker at Conyers Middle School who died from COVID on Oct. 5.

“She was a hard worker, and if a manager asked her to do anything, she did it,” Robert Anderson said.

He said Sara started feeling sick on Sept. 15 and felt worse the next day. He says her manager told her she was out of sick days and that she had to go into work.

“She was pressured into going to work again, and that was on the 17th. On the 18th, she passed out,” Robert Anderson said.


Doctors diagnosed Sara Anderson with COVID, and then COVID pneumonia. A few days later, she was in the ICU.

“At about 3:40 in the morning she passed away, and I don’t want this to happen to anybody else,” Robert Anderson said.

Her co-worker and best friend, Janice Chastain, caught COVID that same week. She died 10 days before Sara.

Rockdale County school administrators said their thoughts and prayers are with both families. They also said they followed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and encourage all school staff to stay home if they’re sick.

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“I know her manager didn’t follow CDC guidelines, because one of the first rules is if you’re sick, you got to stay home, and it’s mandatory they enforce that, and it didn’t happen,” Robert Anderson said.


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