Educator mourned; Carson City schools go virtual for virus


CARSON CITY, Mich. (WOOD) — A small school district in Montcalm County is dealing with a coronavirus outbreak and questions about whether a staff member’s death could be connected.

Fifty-three-year-old Michelle Lynn McCrackin, who according to her obituary worked as a paraprofessional and Title 1 teacher in the Carson City school district, died Friday morning — days after the outbreak was first discovered.

Carson City-Crystal Area Schools officials confirm that six staff members and one student have tested positive since last week. They haven’t said whether McCrackin was one of them.

Thirteen faculty members were quarantined as a result of the positive results, and the schools switched to virtual learning.

It’s the timing of McCrackin’s death, which was first reported by the Greenville Daily News, that’s led to speculation.

The Mid-Michigan District Health Department confirmed to News 8 that a Montcalm County woman in her 50s died from COVID-19 last week.

We reached out to school officials and McCrackin’s family but could not confirm if her death was a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

McCrackin’s death certificate lists respiratory failure, cardiac arrest and bilateral pneumonia as the causes of death. COVID-19 was not listed as a cause or contributing factor.

Carson City schools moved to virtual learning last week after the outbreak was discovered.

It appears the district will remain virtual through at least Oct. 4.

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