Abbott Elementary custodian passes away from COVID-19 complications

The school has reported three COVID cases
Posted at 4:53 PM, Oct 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-30 19:19:40-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — A spokesperson for Millard Public Schools said Friday that Abbott Elementary custodian Greg Petersen passed away from COVID-19 complications.

Petersen has been a custodian at the school for two years and was a U.S. Army Veteran.

In addition to working at Abbott Elementary, Petersen worked at the American Legion Post. Petersen also enjoyed traveling, particularly to Europe.

Including Petersen, the spokesperson said there have been three positive COVID-19 cases this year at the school and they have conducted contact tracing for each case.

Petersen was not identified as a close contact of the other two cases and they're unsure where he contracted the virus.

Throughout contact tracing, officials with the school made no determination that the virus was contracted in the building.

"Our focus remains on the loss of our employee and on his family during this difficult time," the spokesperson said.

The local union, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 226, has responded to Greg's death with outrage as they feel the protections for service workers during the pandemic aren't being taken seriously.

"We've warned the districts that this was going to happen. That people were going to get sick and possibly die, and here we are today," SEIU Local 226 Vice President Brian Stenzel said.

The school district, however, assures that Petersen did not contract the virus at school and say they have a "positive relationship with our local SEIU Union."

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