Health Department: Student’s death in Van Buren County associated with COVID-19

(Photo supplied/Centers For Disease Control and Prevention)

A student’s death in Van Buren County has been associated with COVID-19. That’s according to the Van Buren/Cass District Health Department which issued the following news release:

On Friday, September 24, 2021, Van Buren/Cass District Health Department confirmed the COVID-19 associated death of a student in Van Buren County – the first of the fourth surge of COVID-19 in the county, which is largely driven by the stronger, more contagious Delta variant and lower vaccination rates across the district (Cass and Van Buren County). This brings the total deaths from COVID-19 in Van Buren and Cass County to 234.

Each COVID-19 death has been heart wrenching, but the loss of a student is a tragic and stark reminder of the difficult circumstance we are in throughout our county, state and nation. Right now, we are seeing younger people hospitalized. They are getting sicker than in the previous surge and unfortunately some of them may not survive. Already, since the school year began, the health department has confirmed 192 COVID cases in children 0-19 across Van Buren and Cass County. Even children who are not hospitalized or very sick are contagious. Every person lost to this virus, young or old, leaves a hole in the fabric of our communities.

From the moment the health department began to prepare for the new school year, they have made it very clear their recommendations to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in and outside of the classroom. Guidelines based on the best science and medical judgement have been proven tools in the fight against COVID-19, especially when vaccination is not an option. The health department continues to emphatically stress the importance of following these mitigation strategies to curb the spread of COVID in our community. Get vaccinated, wear masks in public settings, maintain 3-6 feet or more of distance between others, practice good hand hygiene, and stay home when sick.

“Our sympathy goes out to all families who have been affected by this deadly virus. As a community we all want this pandemic to be over, to know our families are safe, and to have the restrictions on our social activities lifted. Unfortunately, we are not there yet. The Delta variant has proven to be more contagious and more serious than previous variants. We have seen a 25-fold increase since one week after school ended on June 25, 2021 until now. Our community transmission data has elevated us to the highest risk category. We have hope in the form of safe and effective vaccines, but only if many more of us who are eligible and able actually take them and only if we slow the spread of this illness through masking, distancing, and quarantine and isolation. We encourage everyone to actively protect themselves and others by following proven mitigation strategies; it will take a cooperative effort from our whole community to effectively mitigate the threat of this virus,” says Dr. Larry Wile, Medical Director, Van Buren/Cass District Health Department.

“The death of a local student is a tragic reminder that the numbers we report every week are also our children, friends and neighbors, and that no one is immune to the virus’ impact. The best ways to protect ourselves, our loved ones and young children who are not eligible to get the vaccine is to get vaccinated ourselves and wear a mask; small and simple tools that make a great impact,” says Danielle Persky, Health Officer, Van Buren/Cass District Health Department.

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DAVID ALAN KRIEGEL September 26, 2021 at 9:40 am

sympathy to the family. QUESTTION ? what does this mean ? “…A student’s death in Van Buren County has been associated with COVID-19.” Was the primary cause of death covid 19 or some other causes of primary death but perhaps the student also had covid 19 symptoms? I have not heard this medical term before

Ama September 26, 2021 at 12:17 pm

I’d like to know that too. This is extremely awkward wording sounding like an attempt to distort facts.

Charles U Farley September 26, 2021 at 2:51 pm

The wording is indeed very vague. The student could have perished in a car accident, but tested positive for COVID19.

There is a vast gulf between dying OF COVID19 and dying WITH COVID19.

My sympathy to the family, and a pox on the health department for using that death to further a political agenda.

Also, masking doesn’t work. It is 100% feel good BS. A cloth mask is between 40-1600 times the size of the virus, and between 1.6 to 66.7 times the size of the aerosolized droplets. It is physically impossible for a cloth mask to have an appreciable effect. Elkhart Schools had a story a couple weeks ago touting that their COVID numbers had fallen 50% after their mask mandate. Unmentioned in the rah-rah-rah news story was that Jimtown School Corp COVID numbers had ALSO fallen 50% with no mask mandate. Masks are a lie.

Tlee September 27, 2021 at 6:55 am

Shame on you. Masks and vaccines are not political. Our hospitals are sick of people like you.

Thor September 27, 2021 at 9:16 am

LOL. Why don’t we just issue doilies to our troops for chemical/biological warfare? It would be soooo much cheaper and obviously so effective (looking for sarcasm font).

Hmmmm…reads disclaimer on doily package; not effective against viruses.

Our country is sick of people like you (no sarcasm font needed).

Charles U Farley September 27, 2021 at 4:03 pm

Tlee, masks and vaccines most certainly ARE political, and shame on you for not figuring that out!

I’ve already covered why masks are a hoax to fool the gullible. It’s like when the TSA used to confiscate nail clippers to board airplanes, as if those could be used to hijack an airplane. It was all feel good theater for the clueless sheep, so the government could be seen as doing something – anything – to make everyone “safe”. The vaccines are interestingly the inverse of that, they are quite dangerous but are being made to appear “safe” through blatant manipulation of the VAERS numbers.

If hospital staff really believed in vax shots, there would be no medical professional resigning in New York State today for not getting one. There are thousands. These are frontline doctors and nurses refusing the vax. It doesn’t sound very safe to me!

Chris September 30, 2021 at 5:16 am

No we are sick of stupid people like you not looking into the true info

jim woods September 26, 2021 at 6:49 pm


David Doengd September 26, 2021 at 4:38 pm

With it being so rare for a young person to die of COVID, any detail to add any context would have been better journalism than this PSA.

Jeff Neumann September 26, 2021 at 6:15 pm

I, too, would like to hear facts of the case. Cause of death, comorbidities, was this student vaccinated, was this student a mask wearer, in what circles did this student move…? The public needs help being safe, we don’t need help being afraid…


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