Georgia mother of 7 dies of COVID-19 after 48-day battle

GRIFFIN, Ga. — A Georgia mother of seven has died of COVID-19 after a 48-day battle with the virus.

Wonikalae “Niki” Copeland, 47, died on Jan. 7. Copeland was an IT specialist in the IT department of Southern Crescent Technical College in Griffin for 17 years.

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“She will be missed tremendously, both by the college and by her family,” Tim Copeland told Channel 2 Action News. “I would like to thank you for highlighting some of our lost heroes!”

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Copeland leaves behind children Daniel (29), Miranda (27), Brandon (27), Jillian (20), Dana (17), Rebekah (15) and Kylie (14).

“She would always bring a smile, bring a laugh to you. She was the rock our department,” Chief Information Officer Michael Shiver said.

Copeland is one of more than 60 school staff, teachers, bus drivers and other employees who have died of COVID-19 since the delta variant began to sweep the state in July.

“People you work with, they are just like your family. You just spend so much time with them. And for her to pass away..is just a shock and a loss for us,” Shiver said.

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Griffin is in Spalding County southwest of Atlanta. Three hundred people from the county have died since the pandemic began.