When outbreaks hit the U.S. campus, a Georgia college president died of Covid-19.
The president of North Georgia Technical College, a public two-year college in Clarkesville, Georgia, with approximately 2,700 students, has died "after losing his battle with Covid-19," the school said on Sunday.
Mark Ivester, 57 years old (not 58 as stated in an earlier version of this briefing) and having been college president since 2016, has been in the hospital since Aug. 16, according to The Northeast Georgian, a local newspaper. The paper also reported that Amy Hulsey, vice president of community relations for the college, met during a prayer vigil for Dr. Ivester said he was on continuous dialysis at North Georgia Medical Center in Braselton.
"With incredibly heavy hearts, we are so sad to say that Dr. Mark Ivester passed away around midnight last night after losing his battle with Covid-19," the college said in a statement posted on Facebook on Sunday . “Please pray again for Eleanor” – his wife – and his whole family. Thank you for all the love and support you have shown them and one another over this time. We are all devastated and will miss him terribly. "
A survey by the New York Times found that American colleges and universities registered more than 36,000 cases of the virus in the past week, not all of which are new. This has increased the total number of campus infections since the beginning of the pandemic to 88,000. Only about 60 of the cases on campus resulted in death, mostly in the spring and among college staff, not students.
It wasn't immediately clear where or how Dr. Iverson contracted the virus.
"He was always so careful and wore a mask as much as possible," Ms. Hulsey said in an email. "Even though he was in intensive care for 4 weeks we are all still in shock at his death."
The North Georgia Technical College website states that it provides "a safe, clean, and protective environment for everyone on campus," including plexiglass signs in areas where students and staff frequently interact face-to-face and the requirement to do so Students in classrooms and at school wear masks in common areas.