WMU student dies from coronavirus

Posted at 1:33 PM, Mar 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-30 00:20:38-04

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — A student at Western Michigan University has died from the coronavirus.

The university and Kalamazoo County both released statements this afternoon on the passing of WMU student Bassey Offiong.

They didn't disclose if Offiong was one of the three students who recently tested positive for the virus.

"I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of one of our students, Bassey Offiong. Bassey was a young man of enormous potential, who was scheduled to graduate with his degree in chemical engineering in just a few weeks," said Edward Montgomery, president, Western Michigan University.

"On behalf of the entire Bronco community, I want to extend my deepest condolences to his entire family, including his sister Asari, who has been generous in communicating with us regularly. They are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time."

The school and county did not provide details on Offiong's previous health status and travel history or say where he was active in the community.

He was not a resident of Kalamazoo County, according to Jim Rutherford, health officer, Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Department.

Rutherford didn't say where Offiong did reside.

"However, this virus has no borders when it comes to who it affects and how it is spread," Rutherford said.

"We urge everyone to help us fight community spread by following the governor’s executive order. Stay home and if you must go out for essential items, stay safe by taking preventative measures."