Appalachian State University
Source: Google Earth
An Appalachian State University student died after developing complications from the coronavirus, university officials said Tuesday.
Chad Dorrill attended online classes and lived off campus in Boone, North Carolina, according to a statement from Appalachian State University Chancellor Sheri Everts. The 19-year-old was diagnosed with the coronavirus in early September and later had complications from the virus, the university said.
According to a report from his family, Dorrill was encouraged to return to quarantine after feeling sick and later tested positive. After initially following quarantine procedures, Dorrill's doctor gave him permission to return to Boone.
However, upon his return, Dorrill had additional complications and was later hospitalized, the university said.
"Although college-aged adults are generally at lower risk of developing serious illnesses, they can become seriously ill with COVID-19," Everts said in the statement. "As we near halfway through the last day of class for the fall semester, we see an increase in COVID-19 cases among students."
Appalachian State, part of the University of North Carolina system, has introduced a mix of face-to-face, hybrid, and online courses for the fall semester. There are currently more than 180 active Covid-19 cases among students and staff in the Appalachian state, according to the university's dashboard.
More than 600 students, employees and subcontractors have tested positive since March when the university started tracking cases.
"We all need to be vigilant about our safety behaviors wherever we are in our community. We can flatten the curve, but to do that we have to persevere," said Everts.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill canceled in-person classes in mid-August, just a week after the fall semester began, after the percentage of total coronavirus tests that came back increased and the university's quarantine space ran low. "Most of the students" who tested positive had only "moderate" symptoms, according to the university.
"Chad's family asked that this moment be a clear reminder of how serious Covid-19 is for all of us, including otherwise healthy young adults. We have an increased duty to one another in these extraordinarily difficult times and we all need to be vigilant stay, "said UNC system president Peter Hans in a statement on Tuesday.
Dorrill is among the few college students who have reportedly died of the coronavirus since teaching resumed in the fall. However, it was difficult to count the number of students who tested positive at universities or who died from the coronavirus. Many institutions use different measures to report cases.
A New York Times database last updated on Friday has identified more than 130,000 coronavirus cases and at least 70 deaths on college campuses since the pandemic began, although that number is likely under counted. Most of the deaths occurred in the spring when the virus hit the country, and most of the deaths were from employees, according to the database.
In July, Penn State University announced that Juan Garcia, a 21-year-old student, had died of respiratory arrest and Covid-19. The New York Times also reported earlier this month that Jamain Stephens, a student at California University of Pennsylvania, died of a blood clot after being hospitalized with Covid-19 and pneumonia.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did not respond to a CNBC query regarding the number of university students hospitalized or who died of Covid-19.
Younger people are less likely to develop serious illness and die from the coronavirus, although underlying health conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure can increase their risk of hospitalization, according to the CDC.