A 16-year-old Texas student has died from COVID-19, becoming the fourth person from the same school district to lose their life after contracting the virus since August.
George Moralez, a 10th-grader at Connally High School in Waco, passed away on October 6, having reportedly been ill for more than a month.
“It is with a heavy heart that I bear the sad news of the loss of a Connally ISD student, the son of one of our Connally Junior High staff members, and a sibling to current Connally High School students,” the Connally Independent School District (CISD) wrote in a letter that was sent out to parents and staff.
Moralez was a member of the U.S. Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps and the manager of the school football team, and volunteered for several causes including Food For Families Drives.
In a post on Facebook, Moralez’s mother said that he “was surrounded by family and close friends” when he died.
“My boy was one of a kind. I still can’t believe I won’t hear his voice, laugh, hug him, or see his smile,” Sabrina Moralez wrote.
“I know where my boy is at, he is in heaven and in no more pain. Fly baby, fly high. Please pray for my Alana and Jaden. We miss our George.”
CISD assistant superintendent Jill Bottelberghe added: “George is one of those students that everyone loved. He would go out of his way to be kind or to say hello to you and he was just involved in a lot of things,” KCEN-TV reports.
Three CISD employees have also died from COVID-19 in recent weeks.
Connally Junior High seventh-grade social studies teacher David McCormick, 59, passed away on August 24, and just four days later, a sixth-grade social studies teacher at the same school, 41-year-old Natalia Chansler, died.
On September 14, Angela Thompson, an instructional aide at Connally Primary School, died from COVID-19, having contracted the virus before the school year began.
When classes began at Connally Junior High in mid-August, face masks were optional, but the school introduced a mandatory face mask policy after the deaths of McCormick and Chansler, MySA reports, going against the orders of Governor Greg Abbott.
Last week, Richardson Independent School District announced that a 16-year-old student, Sha’Niyah McGee, and a teacher, Eroletta Piascyk, had died from COVID-19 within days of each other.
The nearby Waco Independent School District this week revealed that its introduction of a mandatory face mask policy appears to be working, with the number of positive COVID-19 cases falling from 285 to 93 within two weeks of it coming into effect.
16-year-old George Moralez, a student at Connally High School, died on October 6 after falling ill from COVID-19 more than a month ago.