MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A friend of a Pinewood Elementary School teacher who passed away due to COVID-19 is pleading for the community to get vaccinated.

Janice Wright is one of three Broward County School employees who passed away due to COVID-19 during a 24-hour period, according to the teacher’s union.

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Katrina Whittaker and Wright were friends for two decades.

“She was very nice, very caring, very loving she just wanted the best for everyone,” says Whittaker. “Every time you saw her she had on her mask.”

But, what Wright did not have was the vaccine, along with the two others who died.

Whittaker tells CBS 4 News she received the devastating news about her friend this week when her phone rang thinking it was Wright.

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“It wasn’t her, it was her husband saying no Janice past and I lost it, I couldn’t believe it,” says Whittaker.

This loss has made the devastating reality of the virus so real for Whittaker.

“My thing is please to everyone is please go get the shot get the shot, the vaccine and I think if she was here she would say the same thing,” says Whittaker.

Wright’s death happened right around the time that the Broward County School Board voted to defy Gov. DeSantis’ order to drop the mask mandate.

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On Friday, President Joe Biden spoke with the interim superintendent Dr. Vickie Cartwright and thanked her for the district’s work to make schools as safe as possible for everyone.