2nd student death at Penn State tied to COVID-19 as fall approaches

Another Penn State University student death related to COVID-19 has delivered a sobering campus blow with fall semester approaching, the delta variant rising nationally and a campus meeting planned Tuesday to update mitigation plans this upcoming academic year.

Officials with the state’s flagship public university Monday confirmed the passing of Neil Patel and said they “share deepest condolences” with his friends and family. The sixth-semester Smeal undergraduate and Schreyer Honors Scholar had apparently contracted COVID-19 months earlier.

In June 2020, 21-year-old Penn State student Juan Garcia died from respiratory failure related to COVID-19, the first known student death from the virus at the school. The student of Penn State’s College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, fell ill on June 19 and tested positive for coronavirus on June 20 after traveling home to Allentown from State College, according to a university statement at the time.

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