A college student and former high school basketball player has died from Covid-19, highlighting the virus’s danger even toward the young and healthy.
Chad Dorrill, a 19-year-old sophomore at Appalachian State University in North Carolina, died this week after complications from Covid-19, according to the university. He was diagnosed with the virus earlier in September.
Dorrill lived off campus, and all of his classes were online. The university did not say how he contracted the virus.
“When he began feeling unwell earlier this month, his mother encouraged him to come home, quarantine, and be tested for COVID-19,” Sheri Everts, chancellor of App State, said in an announcement to the university community.
“After testing positive for COVID-19 in his home county, he followed isolation procedures and was cleared by his doctor to return to Boone.”
When he returned to school, Dorrill began experiencing further difficulties, Everts said. His family then picked him up, and he was hospitalized.
“Despite generally being at lower risk for severe illness, college-age adults can become seriously ill from COVID-19. As we approach the halfway mark to the last day of classes for the Fall semester, we are seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases in students,” Everts warned.
Classes — a mix of online and in-person — began in August. Since March 27, more than 600 people at the university have contracted the virus, according to the school’s tally.
Dorrill is not the first undergraduate student to die from Covid-19, but his death raises even more urgent questions around the safety of college campuses, even as universities urge safety measures amidst reopening.
CNN reached out to Dorrill’s family for comment, but has not immediately received a response.
Liam Dunman, a student at App State, said the death “definitely resonated” with him.
“You don’t hear about people our age dying from it at all, so it definitely got a little bit more real for me,” he told CNN affiliate WSOC.
In the state of North Carolina, there have only been five reported deaths from Covid-19 in people ages 24 and under and more than 56,000 confirmed cases, according to the state’s Department of Health and Human Services.
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