CHESAPEAKE, Va. – When Che Marie Beam went back to school after Christmas, she felt unsafe and tells News 3 reporter Chelsea Donovan so many students were sick. She says she even brought in her own air purifier as an added precaution, but she still contracted COVID-19 and was sick for weeks.
Days later, she lost her unborn baby.
“During the ultrasound, we learned that my baby boy, David Brandon Beam, no longer had a heartbeat. He was born sleeping on January 27. He was perfect – fully developed finger and toes,” said Brandon Beam.
Beam spoke out to the Chesapeake School Board Monday night. His wife, Che, is a schoolteacher at Southeastern Elementary.
“On Wednesday, January 12, inside the two-week recommendation, my wife, who was pregnant and worked for six years at Chesapeake Public Schools, began feeling sick and tested positive for COVID,” said Beam.
Che went back to the classroom on January 3. Learning was not virtual in the district; however, masks were mandated.
She tested positive for COVID on January 12 and was 15 weeks pregnant.
“He should still be alive and growing inside my wife’s womb. You should have done more for David and to protect us,” said Beam.
The family tells News 3 their doctors told Che the baby had no abnormalities or genetic issues, and while they can’t confirm for sure, her doctors believe she contracted COVID and it contributed to the baby’s death.
We asked another physician about COVID-19 risks in pregnant women. He says the data is not conclusive.
“There are statistics right now, and there are studies that show that it does cause increase risk and studies that show it doesn’t,” said Dr. Ryan Light with Greenbrier Family Medicine in Chesapeake. “When you combine all those studies together, it is not statistically significant.”
However, Dr. Light says COVID will not transfer to the baby inside the womb.
Related: Doctors warn of COVID surge in those who are pregnant
“The placenta acts as a barrier in protecting the baby,” he said.
News 3 reached out and got a statement from Chesapeake Schools. Below is their statement:
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