Memphis charter school student dies after catching COVID-19

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A local school has confirmed to FOX13 that a student at their school has died of COVID-19.

Martin Luther King College Prep told FOX13 via email on Monday.

School officials said:

September 11, our school community learned of the heartbreaking loss of a Martin Luther King College Prep student due to COVID-19. The network was informed that the student had been out of school since August 16 due to an unrelated issue before being diagnosed with COVID-19. Out of respect for the family, this is the only information we are able to provide at this time.

Every death from this virus is one met with immense sorrow; but there is especially profound grief when it is the passing of one of our students. Our deepest condolences and thoughts go out to the family, friends, teachers, and all who knew the student--who one MLK College Prep teacher described as “a bright young girl who was a joy to have in class.”

No other students were around the student who died within weeks of her being diagnosed, school officials said.

Letters were sent home to MLK parents following the students’ death, and grief counselors are available for students.

School officials also said the football team has been quarantined due to possible COVID-19 exposure.

All team members and their families were notified by email and/or phone.

The school said this was a precautionary measure when a student or staff member has been exposed.

A parent with two children who attend MLK college prep is concerned about this news.

Her daughter received her first dose of the vaccine but she worries about what could happen if she gets sick.

“It’s concerning, it really is. I’d rather not for them to be in there but I know they have to go so I don’t know,” said parent Pamela Bland.

The MLK prep student is the 8th child to die at Le Bonheur Children’s hospital from COVID-19.

“It’s really important to recognize these are children that wouldn’t otherwise have died,” said Dr. Sandy Arnold.

Dr. Arnold is the chief of pediatric infectious diseases at Le Bonheur Children’s hospital.

She said out of the 8 child deaths at the hospital since the pandemic began, 4 of the patients died from COVID alone, while the other 4 died from other causes but were sick with COVID-19.

Dr. Arnold said while it’s less likely for a child to die from COVID-19, it’s important not to take that risk because even a mild COVID-19 infection can cause long term health issues.

“Children who are not getting back to their normal lives are having trouble in school. They can’t participate in their activities because of this and it’s taking months and months to recover,” said Dr. Arnold.

Dr. Arnold said at the end of the day the best way to protect your children is to get them vaccinated.