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Student in Self-Quarantine Dies in Dorm Room

COVID test came back positive after Bethany Nesbitt's death
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2020 12:13 PM CST

(Newser) – A 20-year-old college student with COVID-19 died in the dorm room where she had been self-quarantining, family members say. Bethany Nesbitt was found dead Friday morning at Grace College, an evangelical Christian college in Indiana, NBC reports. Relatives say she went into quarantine 10 days before her death after showing symptoms and was tested for the virus, but she didn't receive the results because of a clerical error. Nesbitt, who had asthma, was monitored by campus health workers and was taken to an emergency room after her oxygen saturation levels dropped on Oct. 26. Doctors determined she "very likely had COVID-19, but it was not a severe case and she seemed to be recovering," the family says, per People. Results of a second coronavirus test taken last Thursday came back positive after her death.

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The Kosciusko County coroner said the cause of death was a pulmonary embolism. COVID was a contributing factor but not the main cause, though Stephen Nesbitt, one of her eight older siblings, noted in a tweet that pulmonary embolisms are "widely recognized as a common cause of death in COVID-19 patients." Her parents, who live in Michigan, urged people of all ages to take the virus seriously and "exercise enormous caution," the Lansing State Journal reports. "There will be an empty seat at our table the next time our family comes together—and every time after that," the family said. "This loss is forever." They have started a GoFundMe campaign to set up a scholarship for other young people with their daughter's dream of becoming a child life specialist helping sick and disabled children. (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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