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UGA employee who died from COVID-19 worked for University Housing

Ana Cabrera Lopez

By Joe Johnson

The University of Georgia employee who died from COVID-19 has been identified as a 32-year-old university housing employee.

According to Clarke County Coroner Sonny Wilson, Ana Cabrera Lopez died on July 24, with the primary cause of death being a pulmonary embolism and the secondary cause COVID-19.

According to published literature, it is common for blood clots to form in COVID-19 patients. A pulmonary embolism occurs when a clot in another part of the body moves through the bloodstream and becomes lodged in the blood vessels of the lungs, restricting blood flow and lowering oxygen levels in the vital organ.

Cabrera was employed at University Housing for 10 years, mostly working at the Brumby Hall high-rise dorms off Baxter Street, University Housing Executive Director Linda Kasper said in an email to employees informing them of their co-worker’s death.

 Cabrera was an Athens resident who graduated from Clarke Central High School in 2006, according to her Facebook page.

She died less than a month before fall semester classes are scheduled to begin, on Aug. 20, with the COVID-19 pandemic showing no signs of abating.

As of Thursday nearly 4,000 Georgians have died from the Centers for Disease Control and prevention, and about 160,00 people have died nationwide.

UGA has a total undergraduate and graduate student enrolment of about 40,000, and a workforce of nearly 11,000 people.

In an attempt reduce the spread of the virus that causes the potentially deadly COVID-19 disease, the university reportedly has spent millions of dollars on such safety measures as Plexiglass barriers for facilities, digital thermometers, face masks, and plans to test volunteer faculty and staff for the virus.

Some classes will be taught online and others both online and with an in-person teaching component. The university said that classes will not be held in large lecture halls.

Many faculty members do not believe the reopening plan is adequate, and believe it is potentially dangerous.

The United Campus Workers of Georgia’s UGA chapter on Thursday was scheduled to hold a "die-in" at the UGA campus to protest the reopening of the university.

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