Coverage and remembrances of the WMU student killed by COVID-19

County officials say the WMU student was not a resident of Kalamazoo at the time of his death.

A Western Michigan University student, who county officials say was not a resident of Kalamazoo at the time, was confirmed as a casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here is the March 29 statement by WMU President Edward Montgomery:

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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, including his sister Asari, who has been generous in communicating with us regularly. They are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. 

Here is the statement by Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services director Jim Rutherford:

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 the challenges our community faces due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Read more from WMUK, MLive, and WWMT.