‘She saw the best in everyone’: Grandmother, Jeannette school secretary dies of COVID-19

JEANNETTE, Pa. — A Westmoreland County family should be planning for Thanksgiving this week. But instead, they’re planning a funeral

“She saw the best in everyone. She taught us everything that we know,” her son Larry Hall Jr. said.

He said his mother, Dana Hall, was diagnosed two weeks ago and started off fighting the virus at home until things got worse.

“She was there for three days. It was a process because they had put her on the ventilator. She was showing positive signs. They were slowly weaning her off of the ventilator. It sustained itself for a little while, and then her, her lungs couldn’t do what they were supposed to do,” Larry Hall said.

His mother worked for the Jeannette City School District as an administrative assistant for 10 years or more. The family is not sure where she got the virus, but the Jeannette District did have confirmed positive cases when she tested positive.

“There has been cases, but that’s not something I can say for sure,” Larry Hall said.

He said Dana Hall was a Christian and a woman who believed in prayer. She was a wife, mother of two sons and a grandmother.

Another reason it’s hard for the family is that she was healthy and didn’t drink, smoke or have any preexisting conditions, her family said.

“She fought hard. She fought extremely hard, but God called her home,” Larry Hall said.

Dana Hall’s oldest son wanted to leave this final message for those who still don’t believe in wearing a mask to stop the transmission of COVID-19.

The Jeannette Community mourns the loss of long time high school secretary Dana Hall, who passed away Sunday from...

Posted by Jeannette High School Football and Basketball on Tuesday, November 24, 2020

“It’s real. She showed every sign and symptom. She showed every sign that COVID impacts. It’s very real. I would encourage people to wear a mask. I can’t tell you what to do, but I would encourage you to,” Larry Hall said.

The entire Jeannette community is now mourning her death. A former student also shared how she will remember Dana Hall.

“She was so loving. She was truly another mom at school. Whenever you came into the office for whatever you needed, she knew everybody by name. Of course, Jeannette’s not big, but still. And she’d ask how the family was and her smile, like, you felt her smile. You felt that she loved you. She was so genuine,” Desiree Ross said.

And while Larry Hall said he doesn’t know where his mother contracted the virus, there have been several cases in the district, including nine students and seven staff members.

In an emergency meeting on Monday night, the district voted to move to fully remote instruction starting Tuesday. That will last through the end of the semester, which is Jan. 18. The board will then revisit a possible return to in-person instruction.