University of Texas custodial services staff member dies from COVID-19

Interim President Jay Hartzell said in a letter to the UT campus July 7 that a staff member has died from COVID-19. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Interim President Jay Hartzell said in a letter to the UT campus July 7 that a staff member has died from COVID-19. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)

Interim President Jay Hartzell said in a letter to the UT campus July 7 that a staff member has died from COVID-19. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)

Jay Hartzell, interim president of The University of Texas at Austin, said in a letter July 7 that a staff member has died from COVID-19. Hartzell said this is the university’s first death related to the virus.

“The loss is absolutely devastating to me, as I know it is to so many members of our campus community,” Hartzell wrote.

The person who died was a member of the custodial services team who tested positive last month, according to Hartzell.

“Out of respect for the friends and family, we are unable to provide many other details,” Hartzell wrote.

According to data from UT, 37 individuals—either students, faculty or staff—have tested positive for the virus since July 1. The data includes results from University Health Services, UT Health Austin clinic testing, proactive community testing and self-reported cases.


In the Greater Austin area, 466 individuals are hospitalized with the virus, including 140 in ICU beds and 83 on ventilators, according to data from Austin Public Health. Positive case numbers and hospitalizations in the local area and across Texas have continued to rise since early June.


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