A 25-year old Western Michigan student died Saturday of COVID-19.
On Sunday, the Kalamazoo County Health and Community Service Department confirmed the death of Bassey Offiong due to coronavirus.
His sister, Asari Offiong, told the Detroit News her brother was denied multiple times after attempting to take a coronavirus test in the Kalamazoo area while living off-campus. Offiong told the News her brother was not given a test despite having several symptoms, including a fever, fatigue and shortness of breath.
"I told him to ask them to test him," Offiong said to the News. "He said they refused to test him."
In a release, WMU President Montgomery offered his condolences to the Detroit Renaissance High School graduate and WMU chemical engineering major.
"I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of one of our students, Bassey Offiong. Bassey was a young man of enormous potential who was scheduled to graduate with his degree in chemical engineering in just a few weeks. On behalf of the entire Bronco community I want to extend my deepest condolences to his entire family... They are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time."
Jim Rutherford, Kalamazoo county health and community health officer, acknowledged Offiong's passing in the release.
"We are truly saddened to learn of the death of a Western Michigan University student due to COVID-19. Our thoughts are with the student's family and WMU as they grieve the loss of a loved one. We know this student was not a Kalamazoo County resident; however, this virus has no borders when it comes to who it affects and how it is spread. We urge everyone to help us fight community spread by following the Governor's executive order. Stay home and, if you must go out for essential items, stay safe by taking preventative measures.
The Kalamazoo County Health & Community Service Department continues to work with all of our community partners, including Western Michigan University, as we address this challenges our community faces due to the COVID-19 outbreak."
On Friday, the university confirmed three students had tested positive for COVID-19. It's unclear whether Offiong was one of those students.
As of Saturday, March 28, Michigan's total number of COVID-19 cases has reached 4,650. Michigan has had 111 total deaths as a result of coronavirus.