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12-year-old Mayport Middle student dies of COVID-19 complications

Family seeks support after losing loved one to COVID-19
Family seeks support after losing loved one to COVID-19

A 12-year-old girl who attended Mayport Coastal Sciences Middle School died Friday due to complications after contracting the coronavirus, according to an online fundraising account created to help the family.

One of the student’s former teachers posted the link on her Facebook page. The girl was identified as Elizabeth McNew.

The fundraising site said, “Elizabeth bravely fought for almost two weeks.” The community is raising money to help the family with medical bills and other expenses with a goal of $250,000.

A message that was sent by Chris Koek, the school’s principal, did not confirm the student’s name, but he did confirm that a Mayport Middle School student who was in the Duval HomeRoom program unexpectedly passed away. Duval HomeRoom is the online program that students have been using for remote learning.

Koek said grief counselors will be available on campus Monday morning. Students enrolled in HomeRoom can call the Crisis Hotline at 904-390-2535 for distance grief counseling.

As of Friday, no positive COVID-19 cases were reported on the DCPS dashboard at Mayport Middle School during the 2020/2021 school year. The dashboard tracks reported cases among staff and students who attend or work in brick-and-mortar schools.

According to the Florida Department of Health, there have been nine pediatric deaths related to COVID-19 statewide since the start of the pandemic, including a 9-year-old who died in Putnam County more than two months ago. Kimora Lynum, also known as Kimmie, had no underlying health conditions when she died from COVID-19 complications in July, her family said.

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