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North Carolina college student, seemingly otherwise healthy, dies of Covid-19 complications

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.

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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.


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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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‘Seemingly Innocent’ Ball Games Cause New Ludlowe Virus Cases

FAIRFIELD, CT — Last week, coronavirus cases at Fairfield Ludlowe High School spiked after numerous parties were attended by students. This week, pick-up ball games are to blame, according to the superintendent.

As of Wednesday, 19 Fairfield Ludlowe students had tested positive for the virus, an increase of 14 cases compared to the same day last week, Director of Communications Andrea Clark confirmed.

Due to the continual rise in positive tests, the Fairfield Ludlowe building is closed Wednesday and Thursday, with students learning remotely. The school had briefly reopened Tuesday, after it was shuttered for two days last week. The district will consider extending the closure, “if the current situation changes,” Superintendent Mike Cummings said Wednesday in a community message.

“For the second week in a row, we find ourselves having to deal with the consequences of our students participating in weekend activities without masks and without appropriate social distancing,” Cummings said. “In this case, it wasn’t parties, but seemingly innocent activities like playing pick-up football or basketball, or any sponsored event.”

Those who contract the virus are contagious two days before showing mild symptoms, according to Cummings, who added the district expects to see more cases as students continue to be tested.

“So there are no ‘safe’ activities without masks and social distancing,” he said.

While the school district ensures students wear masks and socially distance at school, Cummings said students’ activities outside of school significantly impact the district’s ability to safely keep its buildings open.

“We understand that we are dealing with young people,” he said. “We understand how important it is for them to be with their friends. But we are dealing with a global pandemic and we cannot put all of our students and staff at risk because of the actions of a few.”

The district has not reported cases at any schools other than Fairfield Ludlowe, but as of Wednesday, 77 students and four staff members were in quarantine district-wide, according to the district website. Quarantines were affecting Fairfield Ludlowe and Fairfield Warde high schools, Roger Ludlowe and Tomlinson middle schools, and Osborn Hill and Riverfield elementary schools.

More than two dozen people outside the district, all of whom are in quarantine, had also been identified as close contacts of students who tested positive for the virus.

Cummings reminded parents Wednesday to keep students home if they have coronavirus symptoms or are awaiting test results, and to provide accurate and complete information if contacted by a member of the health department’s contact tracing team.

“The more they know the better decisions we can all make,” he said.

This article originally appeared on the Fairfield Patch

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