Juan Garci a 21yr old teen of Allentown, is the first known Penn State student to die of causes related to the coronavirus. The university announced his death Thursday morning, after hearing it from friends and family.
“We are profoundly saddened to learn about Juan’s untimely death during this pandemic,” Vice President for Student Affairs Damon Sims said in a written statement. “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.
“I know our entire campus community sends our deepest condolences to his family and friends as they grieve this unthinkable loss. It is a poignant reminder that no one among us is immune to the worst consequences of this virus.”
According to the university, Garcia was living off campus in State College last month when he first began to feel sick. He traveled home to Allentown on June 19 and was tested for the coronavirus the next day.
The university is currently in the process of reaching out to those who may have been in close contact with the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences student while he was contagious. Those who know they’ve been in close contact are urged to call University Health Services at 814-863-4463.
Garcia’s family and friends have set up a GoFundMe page to help cover funeral expenses. As of Thursday afternoon, more than $15,000 has been raised — already surpassing the initial goal of $10,000.
“We have lost one of our own. This tragic news brings the coronavirus pandemic much closer to home for all of us at Penn State,” said Dr. Robin Oliver-Veronesi, UHS senior director. “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