Allentown Penn State student dies from respiratory failure due to COVID-19

Written by on July 3, 2020

Allentown Penn State student dies from respiratory failure due to COVID-19

By Andrew Destin, State College

July 3, 2020

Penn State’s Old Main administrative building. Photo | Min Xian, WPSU

A Penn State student from Allentown has died from respiratory failure due to COVID-19. WPSU intern Andrew Destin reports this is the first known Penn State student death related to coronavirus. 

21-year-old Juan Garcia was a student in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. Penn State said in a press release that it learned about Garcia’s death from COVID-19 through his family and friends. 

Garcia was living off campus in State College when he began to feel ill. He traveled to his home in Allentown on June 19, then was tested for COVID-19 the next day. Garcia died 10 days later. 

Damon Sims, the Vice President for Student Affairs, said Garcia’s death is a reminder that no one is immune to the consequences of COVID-19. Sims said, quote, “I know our entire campus community sends our deepest condolences to his family and friends as they grieve this unthinkable loss.”

The university is in the process of contact tracing to see who was in close contact with Garcia while he was contagious. Penn State is urging individuals who have been in contact with Garcia to call the University Health Services 24/7 Advice Nurse hotline. 

The press release from Penn State did not say whether Garcia had preexisting conditions or how he contracted the virus.


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