A 19-year-old student at Appalachian State University in North Carolina died Monday night from complications of Covid-19, school officials said Tuesday.
Chad Doril, apparently a healthy sophomore, lived off-campus and attended all of his classes online when he developed flu-like symptoms earlier this month, university officials said in a statement.
He went to his family’s home, tested positive for coronavirus and was quarantined. After receiving permission from a doctor, he returned to his off-campus home, where he suffered complications and was picked up by his family and hospitalized, the university said.
“Every loss of life is a tragedy, but grief cuts especially deep when we grieve for a young man who has had so much life ahead,”
Appalachian Chancellor of State Sherry Everts wrote in a letter to students, “His family’s desire is for the university to share a common call to action so that our entire campus community recognizes the importance of adhering to COVID-19 safety protocols and guidelines.”
“Although they are usually at lower risk of serious illness, college adults can become seriously ill with Covid-19,” Everts said.
Many universities and colleges in the country have become hotspots for coronavirus. Chad’s move marks the first death in the University of North Carolina system since several campuses were partially opened in September, according to the Associated Press.
A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday found that from August 2nd to September 25th, the number of weekly coronavirus cases among people between the ages of 18 and 22 increased by 55% nationwide, with the highest increased in the Northeast and Midwest. The increase in cases is not due solely to increased testing, the report said.
Another recent CDC report found that the incidence of coronavirus was now highest among young adults between the ages of 20 and 29, accounting for more than 20 percent of all confirmed cases from June to August.
The Appalachian state, which began its fall semester on August 17 with a combination of online, personal and hybrid classes, currently registers 183 active cases of coronavirus among students and three among employees, all of whom are in isolation, according to a university scoreboard.
The Dorrill family did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Wednesday.
A statement from Chad’s mother, Susan Doril, quoted by the Vatauga Democrat, said doctors said her son’s complications from Covid-19 were rare.
But, she said, “if it can happen to a super healthy 19-year-old boy who doesn’t smoke, vape or drug, it can happen to anyone.”