University staff member dies of COVID-19 complications

Anna Canizales

Interim President Jay Hartzell announced via universitywide email Tuesday that a University custodial staff member died Monday night due to COVID-19 related complications. 

This is the University’s first death related to COVID-19, Hartzell said. Ten custodial staff members tested positive for the virus in May.

The University did not name the staff member who died out of respect for the family’s privacy, Hartzell said.

Hartzell said the individual tested positive last month, contact tracing occurred and all affected individuals followed self-isolation guidance. 

“Our HealthPoint Employee Assistance Program is providing grief services to the individual’s co-workers in custodial services,” Hartzell said in the email. “EAP is also open and providing services remotely to employees through video and phone counseling. The Counseling and Mental Health Center continues to provide services for students.”

Hartzell reiterated the importance of following public health guidelines, such as social distancing and mask wearing, as cases continue to grow in Texas and Travis County.