A Penn State student died on Tuesday from complications of COVID-19, according to Penn State University.
Juan Garcia, 21, was living off-campus in State College when he began to feel ill. He traveled home to Allentown on June 19 and was tested for COVID-19 on June 20.
This is the first known Penn State student death related to COVID-19. The university announced his death on Thursday morning and is in the process of contact tracing any individuals that may have been in close contact with Garcia while he was contagious.
“We are profoundly saddened to learn about Juan’s untimely death during this pandemic,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Damon Sims. “While I did not know Juan personally, we have learned through conversations with those closest to him that this young man had a remarkable spirit and was greatly loved.”
University Health Services senior director Dr. Robin Oliver-Veronesi said this tragic news brings the coronavirus pandemic much closer to home.
“As we mourn the loss of Juan and offer support to his family and friends, I hope we all also will honor his memory by taking every precaution to help slow the spread of the virus and keep ourselves and others safe and healthy. While each of our risk levels are different, this virus has shown that it can have devastating effects on even those who are younger,” Oliver-Veronesi said.
Individuals who believe they may have been in contact with Garcia are urged to call the University Health Services 24/7 Advice Nurse at 814-863-4463.