UT staff member dies of COVID-19, believed to have contracted it off campus

Coronavirus

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A University of Texas at Austin staff member has died of COVID-19, the university’s president announced Friday.

In a letter to the UT community, President Jay Hartzell said a staff member who worked “behind the scenes” in the school’s utilities and energy management department died “after a short battle with COVID-19.”

Hartzell said they aren’t identifying the employee yet due to respect for their family’s privacy.

“Our hearts and minds are with the family, friends and co-workers of our colleague, who are now grieving this terrible loss,” Hartzell said. “This staff member … was beloved by many in our community and had spent a decade on the Forty Acres.”

Hartzell said the employee hasn’t been on campus since the middle of September and is believed to have contracted COVID-19 off campus. The university’s contact tracing has not found any spread of COVID-19 within the community related to this particular case, Hartzell said.

“Our nation has lost over 200,000 lives to COVID-19, but when we lose one of our own — a proud member of Longhorn Nation — it hurts on the deepest possible level,” Hartzell said.

“The thoughts and love of our entire community are with the family of our wonderful colleague, whom we lost far too soon. Please think of them today,” he said.

A member of the UT custodial services died from the disease caused by the novel coronavirus in July.

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