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Austin ISD food service worker of 10 years dies after testing positive for COVID-19

She recently tested positive for the coronavirus, but the school district said they cannot confirm that COVID-19 was the cause of her death.

AUSTIN, Texas — A food service worker with Austin Independent School District has died after she tested positive for the coronavirus, the school district confirmed April 6.

Austin ISD said that on April 2, Patricia Hernandez, a food service worker of 10 years "affectionately called Pati," died after testing positive for COVID-19. Although she had recently tested positive, the school district said they cannot confirm that COVID-19 was the cause of her death.

She worked at Casis Elementary School, the district said. In a letter to parents, Principal Samuel Tinnon said, "It is with sadness that we announce the passing of a much-loved member of our school community."

Casis Elementary was not one of the campuses distributing meals during school closures

Credit: AISD

Here's a copy of the full letter sent to the Casis Elementary community:

"Dear Casis Community,

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of a much-loved member of our school community. On April 2, we lost Patricia Hernandez, affectionately called Pati, a long-time food service worker.

Pati was a valued member of our Casis Elementary School community for ten years and she served the district since 2002. During this time, she was considered a loyal, faithful, and hardworking individual–who found great joy in serving the students of our school and district.

While we do not know a confirmed cause of death, we recently received information that she tested positive for COVID-19. Ms. Hernandez will be greatly missed, and our prayers and heartfelt condolences go out to her family and loved ones.

During these uncertain and difficult times, we do not have information on services planned for Ms. Hernandez. We do know this will be a long road ahead for the Hernandez family and for her friends and co-workers. Our community is committed to helping them in any way possible.

Donations or other forms of support can be sent to Walter Hernandez (Patricia’s son) at 14200 Sarah Ann Drive, Austin, Texas 78725.

While we are not physically together, please know that AISD is prepared to meet the needs of all staff and students who may need support because of this news. At this time, Austin ISD's

school-based mental health partner, Vida Clinic, is offering teletherapy services to the entire Austin ISD community – students, families, and staff. These services will allow adults and children to access quality mental health support right from their own homes. To schedule an appointment, visit vidaclinic.org/virtualvida or contact our Vida Clinic Care Team at 512-518-2209 or by email at vidacare@vidaclinic.org. Additionally, our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available for staff at 800-962-9480.

Please continue to practice safe and healthy habits of precautions during this time of worldwide crisis.

Because our school is a family, we share happy and sad times together. While we help our child(ren) understand this loss, know that none of us are alone. It is important we continue to support one another and stay connected. As we mourn the passing of Pati, let us keep her as well as her family and all those affected by COVID19 in our thoughts.


Samuel Tinnon


Travis County has reported more than 480 cases of COVID-19. As of April 5, six people have died in the county.

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